Overbreadth Challenge Washington

An overbreadth challenge is facial, and will prevail even if the statute could constitutionally be applied to a litigant. State v. Motherwell, 114 Wn.2d 353, 370-71, 788 P.2d 1066 (1990). In City of Seattle v. Huff, 111 Wn.2d 923, 767 P.2d 572 (1989), the Court outlined the rule to be applied in overbreadth challenges: A law is overbroad if it sweeps within its prohibitions constitutionally protected free speech activities. the First Amendment overbreadth doctrine may invalidate a law on its face only if the law is "substantially overbroad." In determining overbreadth, "a court's first task is to determine whether the enactment reaches a substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct." Criminal statutes require particular scrutiny and may be facially invalid if they "make unlawful a substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct . . . ." This standard is very high and speech will be protected "'. . . unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest.'" Huff, 111 Wn.2d at 925.