Far be it for anyone to be left out of the "Seattle Process".

If SHR wants to be heard or has something to say.... send an amicus brief to the judge.

Hopefully, it will have facts, something this slog might want to use from time to time.


Article XIII, Section 3 of the Seattle City Charter: "DUTIES OF CITY ATTORNEY: The City Attorney shall have full supervisory control of all the litigation of the City, or in which the City or any of its departments are interested, and shall perform such other duties as are or shall be prescribed by ordinance."

Filing of a brief with a court is the very definition of litigation, and the Seattle Human Rights Commission is a part of Seattle City government's Executive Branch, reporting to the Mayor. Therefore, the City Attorney has "full supervisory control" of any attempt by the Seattle Human Rights Commission to file a brief with a court, unless an ordinance gives the Seattle Human Rights Commission power to do this independently. Absent such power, the Seattle Human Rights Commission must defer to the City Attorney's Office for all legal representation.

When the Commissioners sought a lawyer to file a brief, they overstepped the legal limit on their authority, and the City Attorney's Office duly advised them of this, as that Office is legally required to do.

In short, the City Attorney's Office acted entirely within the bounds of its responsibility when the Seattle Human Rights Commission attempted to act in a manner in which it is not legally allowed to act. The story here is the renegade actions of the Seattle Human Rights Commission.


Expanding on @3, pursuant to SMC 3.14.931, the HRC "shall act in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Office for Civil Rights and other City departments in respect to matters affecting human rights . . . ."

As the SCAO correctly pointed out, HRC's enabling legislation doesn't give it the power of an independent body. The HRC exists solely to advise and consult with the Mayor's office and specified departments.

I have no idea what led the HRC to tell the public it had the ability to act independently. That is the real story here. HRC made promises it couldn't keep, and is now trying to blame the SCAO for its own mishandling of this situation.


@5 spot on. they pretty much lost whatever credibility they had long ago with some of their asinine proclamations.


@5 To be fair, I think only one of the commissioners has a tech background. Most work with various non-profits, or are pursuing a masters degree:


So help me understand, why is it so important to you commenters that the human rights commissioners not be able to speak to the monitor? The only reason mentioned was the accusation that they are "status seeking" (something that is not a problem in any other aspects of government or society).

What is it you are so desperate to prevent being said and why?


@8: Why do you assume it is "so important," or that we are "desperate" to prevent, the SHR Commissioners from interfering with the City's established channel of communication with the judge?

'The only reason mentioned was the accusation that they are "status seeking""

That wasn't even the only (or first!) reason mentioned @2 (the comment to which you refer). That comment began by expressing skepticism for the Commissioners' reason for wanting to interfere with the City's established channel of communication with the judge. Neither the Stranger nor the South Seattle Emerald have questioned the validity of the Commissioners' stated reasons; they have simply accepted these statements of government officials at face value. Citizens are free to question the motives of government officials; have you a problem with that?

Other reasons given in this comment thread include: the Seattle City Charter reserves authority in this case to the City Attorney's Office, and the enabling legislation for the Seattle Human Rights Commission does not grant the Commission the authority the Commissioners want.

So, let's re-phrase and condense your questions, including the actual reasons given in this comment thread:

"Why is it so important to you commenters that government entities stay within the constitutional and legal bounds of their authority?"

Asked in that way, the obvious answer should come easily. Please indicate if it does not.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.