Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Mar 30 2018

U.S. District Court Judge cites President’s “overt expressions of prejudice”

OLYMPIA — A federal judge rejected the federal government’s motion to dismiss Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s challenge to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, citing President Trump’s “overt expressions of prejudice.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis wrote that “the court does not see why it must or should bury its head in the sand when faced with overt expressions of prejudice.”

“This represents another success in our case to protect Dreamers,” Ferguson said. “Yet again, we’re successfully using the President’s own words against him.”

Judge Garaufis ruled that Ferguson’s claim that the decision to rescind the DACA program violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment can go forward.

“At the very least, one might reasonably infer that a candidate who makes overtly bigoted statements on the campaign trail might be more likely to engage in similarly bigoted action once in office,” Judge Garaufis continued.

On Sept. 6, 2017, Ferguson and 15 other attorneys general filed the case in the Eastern District of New York.

Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit Chief Colleen Melody and Assistant Attorney General Marsha Chien are handling the case for Washington.

Ferguson has not lost a case brought against the Trump Administration. The Attorney General’s Office prevailed in all five cases against the Trump Administration that are completed and there are no more appeals. That does not include four additional successful outcomes that have been or could be appealed, including blocking President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov