Ruling expected in media lawsuit against Legislature

December 19, 2019 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in a public records lawsuit brought against the state Legislature by a coalition of news organizations.

The nine-member court is set to post its ruling Thursday morning. The high court heard oral arguments in June on the appeal of a case that was sparked by a September 2017 lawsuit from the media coalition, led by The Associated Press. The group sued to challenge lawmakers’ assertion they are not subject to the law that applies to other elected officials and agencies. Attorneys for the Washington Legislature have argued lawmakers pointedly exempted most of their records from the state’s public records act through a series of changes in past years and therefore were not violating the law.

A Thurston County superior court judge in January 2018 ruled that the offices of individual lawmakers are in fact subject to the Public Records Act, but that the Washington Legislature, the House and Senate were not.