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The mission of the lawforwa website is to give the people of Washington easy access to information on the law, the courts, the government, and civic rights and responsibilities.

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In the news ...

Court Protects Privacy of Car Passengers

The state Supreme Court recently ruled that police cannot arrest passengers in a car solely because an officer smells marijuana, voting unanimously to overturn a precedent almost 30 years old. The decision caused much comment in the state’s media. Learn about the case in the , see an editorial in , and read the decision on the

Congress Expands Federal Wiretap Powers

Congress recently passed a bill broadening the U.S. government’s surveillance powers, including its ability to wiretap U.S. citizens without a court order. It also gives legal immunity to phone companies that cooperated with the Bush administration after September 11th, putting an end to the existing lawsuits against those companies for violating their customers’ privacy. Read about the legislation in . The argues that the law is unconstitutional, but an editorial in presents a different view.

Election 2008
Many websites offer tools for keeping track of what’s happening in the Presidential race. We suggest , , , and – for a foreign perspective – the . For in-depth information on the candidates' stands on various issues, see the websites of and .

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You, the Jury

"The American system of trial by jury is unique. No other nation relies so heavily on ordinary citizens to make its most important decisions about law, business practice, and personal liberty--even death. Ideally, Americans take their participation seriously lest they someday stand before their peers seeking justice." -Stephen J. Adler, journalist and author.

Learn more about jury service in Washington on the .