Washington is located in the Pacific Northwest and is named after George Washington. The state formed from the portion of the Washington Territory which was ceded by Britain in 1846 under the terms of the Oregon Treaty. The state was the 42nd admitted into the Union on November 11, 1889. The state is often referred to as Washington State to differentiate it from the Capital, Washington DC. Nearly 60% of the state’s population resides in Seattle and the local metropolitan area.
The state’s agricultural and farming industries are very strong. Production of apples, hops, pears, raspberries, and cherries, are among the highest in the US. Commercial fishing, manufacturing industries, and tourism, are all major contributors to the state’s economy.
Popular area attractions include Mount Rainier, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Starbucks (home to the first Starbucks in the country), the Columbia River Gorge, Puget Sound, and Olympic National Park, are just a few of the many popular area attractions locals and tourists alike visit annually. Major company headquarters including Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Nintendo of America, Bungie, Telecom (T-mobile), and Expedia, contribute to the workforce and state’s economy greatly. Universities in the state include the University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga, Seattle University, and Highline College, among others.
The governmental structure of the State of Washington is established by the Constitution of the State of Washington. The executive is composed of the Governor, several other statewide elected officials and the Governor's cabinet. The Washington State Legislature consists of the House of Representatives and State Senate. The judiciary is composed of the Washington Supreme Court and lower courts. There is also local government, consisting of counties, municipalities and special districts.
The Washington Supreme Court is the highest court in the State. It can review lower court decisions, and it has original jurisdiction on complaints against state officers; additionally, all cases involving the death penalty are automatically reviewed by the Supreme Court.
The Washington Court of Appeals is an intermediate level appellate court, and it hears appeals from a variety of sources. The court is divided into three divisions, and judges are elected for six-year terms. Cases are heard by a panel of three judges. Washington superior courts have general jurisdiction, grouped by districts by counties. Washington District courts and Municipal courts have limited jurisdiction involving misdemeanors and small actions. The justices who serve on these courts are elected or appointed to serve four year terms.
The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) licenses and regulates attorneys. The Commission on Judicial Conduct investigates complaints against judges and can recommend judges be removed. The commission consists of 11 members—two attorneys slected by the bar association, judges chosen by sitting judges, and six non-attorneys appointed by the Governor.
Policy developments, paid sick leave, labor and employment laws and legislation, and minimum wage laws are among the stories visitors to the National Law Review covers. Visitors can also read about state litigation, pending legislation, topics including Ban the Box legislation, and federal and state agency news. The National Law Review covers the latest news from the state of Washington and the US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit.