Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Feb 02 2017

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BobDear Friends,

On Monday, I filed a lawsuit against the President of the United States. I don’t take a decision like that lightly. I firmly believe that no one is above the law, however, and I have a duty to protect all Washingtonians from unlawful actions that violate the Constitution.

I will continue this fight — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary — to uphold the rule of law.

A hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at the United States District Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, in Seattle. At the hearing, Senior Judge James Robart will hear arguments on my request for a temporary restraining order to block President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order until my lawsuit can be considered.

This special edition of the Ferguson File is devoted to updating you on this litigation.

Thank you for following the work of the Attorney General’s Office.



Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General

An unconstitutional order that harms all Washingtonians

On Monday, I filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and high-ranking Trump Administration officials.

I’m asking the court to declare unconstitutional key provisions of President Trump’s immigration Executive Order. That order not only violates several parts of the Constitution, it separates Washington families, damages our state’s economy and hurts Washington-based companies.

To stop this harm immediately, I’ve also asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order to block the president’s order until the court decides on its constitutionality.

In short, I am asking the court to immediately suspend, and to then nullify, the President’s illegal action nationwide.

The president’s order suspends entry of immigrants and non-immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also suspends indefinitely the entry of Syrian refugees into the United States, as well as placing a 120-day moratorium on the country’s refugee resettlement program as a whole.

In my lawsuit, I argue that the Executive Order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, infringes on individuals’ constitutional right to Due Process and contravenes the federal Immigration & Nationality Act.

I’ve asked the court to declare significant portions of the Executive Order illegal and unconstitutional and to block the Trump Administration from enforcing it.

Major Washington state institutions are backing my lawsuit, with some filing declarations alongside the complaint. Amazon and Expedia, for example, address the detrimental ways the Executive Order impacts their operations and employees.

We experienced an outpouring of support from the public and the legal community. Several organizations are doing extensive work in related matters, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the National Immigration Law Center and the Council on American Islamic Relations.

While much of that work has been done on behalf of individuals impacted by this Executive Order, my lawsuit is the first action brought on behalf of a state. The state’s action is different because it is broader in scope. While other actions seek relief for individuals, I’m calling for the court to invalidate entire sections of the Executive Order, nationwide, because it is unlawful and unconstitutional.

Through the hard work of my legal team, we’ve made a strong case to challenge the President’s order. They and other members of the Attorney General’s Office worked around the clock last weekend, because hours matter when the rule of law is at stake.

My team and I will continue this work on behalf of all Washingtonians. As I said in announcing this litigation, in a courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails — it’s the Constitution.


Seattle Times

AG Bob Ferguson files lawsuit seeking to invalidate Trump’s immigration order

National Public Radio

Attorneys General Condemn Trump's Executive Action On Immigration

Seattle P-I

Washington is first state to sue Trump over immigration order

The Stranger

Washington State's Attorney General Is Suing the Trump Administration Over Its Travel Ban

KXLY Spokane

Washington becomes first state to sue Trump over refugee order


WA Attorney General suing Pres. Trump over immigration order


Washington state sues Trump over immigration order

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