John Scannell, who is authorized to practice law only before the Federal District Court, filed to dethrone Her Majesty, Susan Owens for WA Supreme Court position 2. However, his candidacy was challenged by a Port Angeles lawyer and friend of Owens, Karen Unger, in Thurstan County Superior Court. Bill Scheidler filed to intervene in Unger’s case in support of keeping John Scannell’s name on the ballot. Superior Court Judge, Christerpher Lanese, who is also an admitted friend of Owens who helped Lanese in his campaign for judge, ordered Scannell’s name off the ballot.
Today we learned that …A federal lawsuit has been filed in Washington State over Washington’s insistence that former Zamboni Driver John Scannell must be a member of the Washington State Bar Association in order to run for Supreme Court. Scannell amended his lawsuit to include a Bivens action against two federal judges who refused to timely process his federal complaint so that his name could be on the ballot. Scannell has demanded that the federal court step in, issue a restraining order to prevent the ballots from being counted, and a new election being ordered.
Scannell, who the defendants claim is disbarred, contends both his disbarment and the order keeping him off the ballot are void for lack of jurisdiction. So far, none of the defendants have made an argument against the orders being void. They are contending that Scannell is barred from contesting the ballot because of res judicata and the Rooker Feldman doctrine. Scannell contends the issue of whether his disbarment was void has never been litigated and the defendants are utilizing an outdated interpretation of Rooker Feldman. According to Scannell, who is a practicing attorney in the ninth circuit, the court never used his alleged disbarment as the reason he is off the ballot, and the judges decision that he be required to join the bar association in order to run, violates the recent Janus decision issued by the United States Supreme Court where that court ruled public workers cannot be forced to give up their constitutional right to disassociate from unions, by way of a union shop requirement.
The Secretary of State has also made it clear that Scannell is barred from running as a write-in candidate. Scannell is asking his supporters to write him in anyway, to give further basis for contesting the election.
This story will be updated as additional details are learned.