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Madison v. State

Supreme Court of Washington

June 27, 2006, Argued; July 26, 2007, Filed

No. 78598-8

Opinion

EN BANC

 [**761]  [*87] 

¶1 Fairhurst, J. — Respondents/cross-appellants Daniel Madison, Beverly DuBois, and Dannielle Garner are convicted felons seeking reinstatement of their voting rights.  [*88]  Respondents challenge the constitutionality of Washington's disenfranchisement scheme because it denies the right to vote to convicted felons who have not completed all of the terms of their sentences, including full payment of their legal financial obligations (LFOs). 1 Respondents argue that the scheme violates the privileges and immunities clause of the Washington Constitution and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution because it denies them the right to vote based on wealth. Following cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial court concluded that the scheme is unconstitutional as to felons who, due to their financial  [***2] statuses, are unable to pay their LFOs immediately. The State sought direct review and requests that this court reverse the trial court's order and enforce Washington's constitution and statutes as written. Respondents cross-appeal and ask this court to hold that all felons who have satisfied all the terms of their sentences except for full payment of their LFOs be allowed to vote, regardless of their financial statuses.

¶2 We hold that Washington's disenfranchisement scheme does not violate the privileges and immunities clause of the Washington Constitution or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. We also hold that respondents lack standing to bring their cross-appeal, and we deny respondents' request for attorney fees because they are not the prevailing party. We reverse the trial court.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

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161 Wn.2d 85 *; 163 P.3d 757 **; 2007 Wash. LEXIS 556 ***

Daniel Madison et al., Respondents, v. The State of Washington et al., Appellants.

CORE TERMS

felons, disenfranchisement, right to vote, sentence, terms, fundamental rights, privileges and immunities clause, restoration, voting rights, financial obligation, favoritism, felony, voting, constitutional analysis, immunities, privileges, cases, state constitution, re-enfranchisement, respondents', concurrence, violates, failure to pay, trial court, fine, rights, federal constitution, full payment, classification, deprived

Civil Rights Law, Protection of Rights, Prisoner Rights, Voting, Constitutional Law, Elections, Terms & Voting, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Case or Controversy, Constitutionality of Legislation, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Inferences & Presumptions, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Privileges & Immunities, State Constitutional Operation, Equal Protection, Nature & Scope of Protection, Judicial Review, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Poverty