Judge may override Washington state voters on Hanford initiative

An initiative on the Washington state ballot last month, which would prevent more waste from being dumped at the federal Hanford nuclear site in the state, will go before a federal judge today. Were there Diebold machines involved? A flurry of recounts? No. In fact, voters approved the measure by a greater than 2-to-1 ratio. So why the court time for what seems to be an open-and-shut case? The federal government was unhappy with the outcome of the election. The Justice Department argues that the measure is unconstitutional, and “efforts to comply with the draconian provisions of [the initiative] will cost millions of dollars.” State officials say they plan to defend the voters’ decision to require cleanup of the 586-square-mile site — considered the most contaminated in the nation — before any additional waste is stored there.