norml17 - Page 21
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The history of the adoption of a particular state constitutional provision may
reveal an intention that will support reading the provi_;ion independently of
federal lawo ''77
The constitutional history of Section 32 remains somewhat of a
mystery° The original proposed constitution by W. Lair Hill contained only
31 sections to Article I. The Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Illinois
constitutions contained '_similar" clauses 78 (references to fftmdamental
principles) but Washingtoffs connection of fundamental principles to
individual rights was vmique. 79 Section 32 was proposed by George Turner,
whose later speeches as a U.S. Senator leads to the conclusion that Turner,
like others of his day, believed that constitutional interpretation often required
a return to natural law principles beyond the four comers of the constitution, so
The common law history involving Section 32 provides more solid
ammunition -- at least, the history of Section 32 as incorporated in common
law since 1889. Section 32 has been used by judges to advocate expansion
of the scope of constitutional protections of individual liberties against
intrusions of private actors. 8_ It has also been cited to overcome the inerda of
1stare decisi_ to reject 19th century precedents as outmoded for determining
twentieth century disputes -- automobiles should not be governed by horse
and buggy laws. _2
Likewise, laws passed against drugs during an era when the therapeutic
values were unknown should not cause preventable suffering today.
"Previously established bodies of state law, including statutory law,
may also bear on the granting of distinctive state constitutional rights. State
law may be responsive to concerns of its citizens long before they are
77 .Cgm_vc_LL _ note 50 at 61.
7s "Sources of Washington Constitution" section, 1991-92 Legislative Matured, page 370.
79 Snure, sup_ra, page 676.
8o $nure, _ page 674, citing 32 Cong. ReCo 783, 785, 789 (1899) (statement of Sen. Turner against
United States imperialism in the Philippines.)
8I S_o_u_thcenter Joint Veil_rut, _ "
, Justice Utter concurring in result
only, 113 Wn.2d 413 at 439-40, 780 Po2d 1282 at 1286-87 (1989).
82 Footev. Grant. 55 Wn.2d 797 at g06-807, 350 P.2d 870 at 876 (Foster, ,I._ dissenting).
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