July 13, 2010

PLF: a modern day Cassandra

By PLF: a modern day Cassandra

Author: Brian T. Hodges 662px-Theprocessionofthetrojanhorseintroybygiovannidomenicotiepolo

In a decision filed last week, Washington’s Court of Appeals recognized that, like Cassandra, whose warning that the Grecian horse spelled doom for Troy, PLF’s successful litigation efforts to constrain government agencies to their strictly defined constitutional and statutory limits has fallen on deaf ears.

PLF blogged about the government’s deaf ears on this precise issue last December.

For over a decade, Washington’s growth management hearings boards (administrative agencies established to review challenges to local comprehensive plan updates) have been using their quasi-judicial role to create "bright line" rules intended to "fill in the gaps" that Legislature intentionally left in the State’s Growth Management Act (GMA). The boards, however, are administrative agencies that lack authority to engage in legislative activities. And since 2005, PLF has successfully challenged the boards’ "bright line" rules, resulting in a series of unequivocal decisions from Washington’s Supreme Court holding that growth boards lacked authority to set policy, and its "bright-line" rules were invalid.

In a footnote to last week’s decision, the Court of Appeals asked who is acting as Apollo or the gift-bearing Greeks in Washington’s land use epic? I think the more appropriate question is:  who is acting as Zeus, who planned the Trojan War as a means to centralize his authority, rid the world of opposition, and control population growth?

Pictured above, detail from "The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy" by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo .

What to read next