Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Municipal Water Law (Again)

In what appears to have been an agonizing 6-3 decision by the Washington Supreme Court (it took over 20 months to issue a decision after oral argument), the municipal water law of 2003 has been upheld against an as-applied constitutional challenge.  The new decision in Cornelius v. Wash. Dept. of Ecology, Wash. State Univ., and Wash. Pol. Ctrl. Hearings Bd., Case No. 88317-3 (2015), resolves substantial uncertainty about the constitutionality of the municipal water law, especially as applied to water rights that meet the statutory definition of “municipal water supply purposes” but were issued prior to 2003 with a “domestic” or “community domestic” purpose of use. Click here to download Tom Pors’ complete article regarding this important case.


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