Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee of Southwest Washington

Judicial Watch
For Washington State Courts

Washington State Supreme Court Opinions:

Library Pornography: Bradburn v. N. Cent. Reg'l Library Dist.
File Date: 05/06/2010
Court's Opinion

Barbara A. Madsen Majority Author
Charles W. Johnson Signed Majority
Gerry L. Alexander Signed Majority
Richard B. Sanders Signed Dissent
Tom Chambers Dissent Author
Susan Owens Signed Majority
Mary E. Fairhurst Signed Majority
James M. Johnson Concurrence Author
Debra L. Stephens Signed Dissent

Washington State High Court Rules in Favor of Library Filters

 by Kim Trobee, editor

"It just allows us to be real, to use common sense, and it protects kids."

In a 6-3 decision, the Washington Supreme Court has said that public libraries do not have to disable Internet filters, just because an adult patron requests it.

The majority wrote in its opinion: "A public library has never been required to include all constitutionally protected speech in its collection and has traditionally had the authority, for example, to legitimately decline to include adult-oriented material such as pornography in its collection. This same discretion continues to exist with respect to Internet materials."

The judges relied heavily on United States v. American Library Association of 2003, which upheld the 2000 Children's Internet Protection Act. The law requires libraries to use filtering software if they want to receive federal money.

Former Justice Department official Patrick Trueman said restricting access to inappropriate online content is in the library's best interest.

More at

Marriage: Andersen v. King County
July 26, 2006
Court's Opinion



Andersen v. King County
Legal Redux

The Supreme Court of Washington issued yesterday a long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of traditional marriage. Five justices upheld Washington's Defense of Marriage Act in Andersen v. King County, a consolidated case. In all, the Court published six opinions: three upholding and three dissenting. Justice Barbara Madsen wrote for the majority, signed by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander and Charles Johnson, and joined in result by my favorites: Richard Sanders and Jim Johnson. Dissenting was Justice Tom Chambers, and the three remaining women justices: Mary Fairhurst, Susan Owens, and Bobbe Bridge.

I read the Andersen case last night (all 62 pages). I guess I'm justified in such course, since it affects my home state, and I've been waiting for this opinion since last November. It was argued last March, and many thought the Court wouldn't issue until after the election for obvious political reasons.

The majority opinion says in effect, we know there's hardship on the same-sex couples, and we agree that families and fundamental rights are both evolving, but we've got to defer to the legislature's bona fide judgment on the political and social evidence. Send your Brandeis briefs to the legislature.

More ...

Doma Watch Link

Parentage: Carvin v. Page
November 3, 2005
Court's Opinion

Authored by Bobbe J Bridge

Concurring: Barbara A. Madsen, Charles W. Johnson, Gerry L Alexander, Susan Owens, Tom Chambers, Mary Fairhurst

Dissenting: James Johnson, Richard B. Sanders

Lesbian’s Ex-Partner Declared “De-Facto Parent” by Washington State Court
Mother now married to child’s biological father must give previous lesbian partner access
By Terry Vanderheyden

OLYMPIA, Washington, November 4, 2005 ( – A Washington State Supreme Court judge ruled Thursday that the former lesbian partner of a child’s biological mother can be considered the “de facto parent” of the ten-year-old girl the mother conceived by artificial insemination. The girl’s mother, Page Britain, is now married to the girl’s biological father after separating from her lesbian lover.

Sue Ellen Carvin sued Britain in 2002 after she was denied visitation of the girl conceived in 1995. Chief Justice Bobbe J. Bridge, writing for the majority, said that “in the face of advancing technologies and evolving notions of what comprises a family unit, this case causes us to confront the manner in which our state . . . defines the terms ‘parents’ and ‘families.’” The ruling, approved by seven of nine Supreme Court judges, means that Carvin can now sue for custody and visitation rights.

“Imagine the Pandora's box that opens,” said one of Britain’s attorneys, Erica Krikorian, according to an AP report. “Anytime somebody comes along and cohabitates – in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship – all of a sudden, add water and you’re creating these rights. You have to be careful who you're letting your kids hang out with.” Britain’s attorneys are recommending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Britain’s co-counsel, Brian Krikorian, said, “This decision puts every single parent on notice: Anytime you allow another adult to assist in raising your child, you could potentially be giving that person 50-percent authority over your child.”

Justice James Johnson, dissenting from the majority opinion, condemned the court for its “judicial decree” that brought in a new method for determining who a child’s parent is. “Regardless of the various sexual orientation claims, the outcome must be that a mother has a fundamental right to make decisions for her child,” he stated. “The majority’s ruling fails to provide any protection for Britain's fundamental constitutional right as a fit mother to make decisions concerning the upbringing of her own daughter. Worse, in my view, the majority here looks beyond a detailed and complete statutory scheme adopted by the Washington Legislature and creates by judicial decree a new method for determining parentage.”

Rev. Joseph Fuiten, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Network, a Washington group campaigning against legalization of same-sex “marriage,” condemned the ruling. “They’ve changed the definition of parents today; they'll change the definition of marriage tomorrow. Who do these people think they are?”