Where the Law Comes From

Many people don’t pay attention to where law comes from. It really comes from two sources, the government and the court system. How the court system interprets events and law that has been passed establishes precedent as to how it will be viewed. If the public doesn’t like how the court has ruled, we then try and get the law changed. Senate Bill 6087 is a bill that has been supported by ag groups to get the RCW on water law changed. When the Washington Supreme Court issued their opinion on the Joe Lemire case in 2013 it was a surprise to many that the Court confirmed the Department of Ecology’s power to issue orders without a hearing. DOE can determine that a land owner has the “substantial potential to pollute” and can issue an order requiring that the property owner meet mandates, one of which is fencing and not using property that the landowner has paid for. Any landowner should be concerned with the DOE’s unchecked power. SB 6087 and 2 companion bills in the House help to protect private property rights and agriculture. It is important for citizens of the United States of America to remember that in the voting process we determine who fills the Senate, the House, and our Court system. You have a voice, use it to influence changes that need to be made to keep private property safe. Call your politicians and remind them that you are a voter and they need to support these bills.