Washington Court's Evaluation of Legislative Enactments
In Island County v. State, 135 Wn.2d 141, 147, 955 P.2d 377 (1998) the Court made the following statement regarding this court's evaluation of legislative enactments:
The "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used when a statute is challenged as unconstitutional refers to the fact that one challenging a statute must, by argument and research, convince the court that there is no reasonable doubt that the statute violates the constitution.
The reason for this high standard is based on our respect for the legislative branch of government as a co-equal branch of government, which, like the court, is sworn to uphold the constitution.
We assume the Legislature considered the constitutionality of its enactments and afford some deference to that judgment.
Additionally, the Legislature speaks for the people and we are hesitant to strike a duly enacted statute unless fully convinced, after a searching legal analysis, that the statute violates the constitution.