Note: One of our functions in this era of media consolidation is to be a news outlet as well. This is one case where through sources we have obtained an important piece of public information that we have an obligation to pass along to WFSE/AFSCME members and all citizens.
The Federation has obtained state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s response to state Senate Republicans’ inquiry into his office’s legal work on behalf of the people and the state of Washington challenging unlawful and unconstitutional actions by the Trump Administration.
In a letter dated yesterday (Oct. 25) to Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, Ferguson wrote:
"I recently received an inquiry from Senate Republican caucus staff on behalf of 'multiple,' apparently anonymous Senate Republicans. The inquiry concerned my office's legal work on behalf of the people and the state of Washington challenging unlawful and unconstitutional actions by the Trump Administration.
"I am proud of our continued success protecting Washingtonians from harmful actions taken by the president — at negligible cost to taxpayers — and welcome the opportunity to share our successes with you and your colleagues.
"Every court to rule on our lawsuits has ruled in favor of Washington state. We have been successful in four lawsuits without losing a single case. Including cases in which my office filed amicus briefs challenging unlawful actions by the Trump Administration, Washington is 6-0 in federal lawsuits since January 1.
"Because the inquiry came at the request of anonymous Senate Republicans, I am providing a response to you directly, trusting you can get this to the interested members of your caucus. I am also making my response public.
"I welcome direct conversations with individual legislators to discuss particular cases my office is pursuing, or the whole of our work on behalf of the people of Washington. I extended this invitation to the Legislature back in January. No member of your caucus has accepted. Please extend, once again, my invitation to your members. It is my belief that direct conversations are more productive than anonymous legislators making requests through their staff."
Ferguson outlined every case the state has filed against the Trump Administration that has been in favor of the state, including the one on the original travel ban, energy efficiency standards, new oil and gas facilities and ground-level ozone standards.
The attorney general also outlined five unresolved cases:
“In five other cases, my office either filed our own case in the Western District of Washington or led a multistate group of attorneys general. These cases involve challenges to the second and third travel bans, the decision to abolish DACA, the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, and the new rules restricting contraception access.”
Ferguson concluded his nine-page letter to Schoesler by saying:
“If any senators believe I should not be taking action to protect Washington Dreamers, women, students, businesses, and vulnerable individuals in need of affordable health care, I encourage them to contact me directly.”
No matter what your politics are, any issue questioning the work of state employees is information Federation members should have. Especially, when it involves questions from a Senate Majority that has held the state Capital Construction Budget hostage for 188 days and counting.
You can download the letter below.
AG Letter to Schoesler