Gonzalez v. Inslee, Governor of State of Washington
(Supreme Court of Washington, September 28, 2023) The Supreme Court of Washington upheld Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-era ban on evictions in a case landlords brought challenging the Governor’s action as outside the scope of his emergency powers as set forth in the Washington Constitution and Code. The landlords argued that the Governor may not waive or suspend application of statutes—here, provisions establishing landlords’ eviction powers—but that emergency powers are limited to actions not addressed in existing law. The Court rejected that argument and found that the Governor acted within the scope of his emergency powers, particularly noting that the eviction ban did not eliminate tenants’ obligations to pay rent or landlords’ power to seek payment without eviction. Read the full Opinion here.