Bob Ferguson’s Good Month Continues

The state Supreme Court today ruled against the Richland florist who wanted to refuse flowers to gay couple; then the Trump administration withdrew its ‘travel ban’ executive order.

Bob Ferguson extended his hitting streak today, with a pair of solid knocks (pardon the baseball metaphor, but pitchers and catchers are reporting).

First, the Washington Attorney General got a unanimous ruling from the Washington Supreme Court this morning upholding Washington state’s anti-discrimination law. The law was being challenged by Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, whose owner claimed religious exemption. She refused to sell flowers to two long-time male customers for their wedding, saying the marriage went against her Christian faith. Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers back in 2013. Ferguson’s suit was successful in lower court, but Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s (why isn’t the flower shop called Barronelle’s?), challenged the case to the Supreme Court.

“I brought this case seeking a definitive, unequivocal decision from our state’s highest court that discrimination against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters is illegal,” Ferguson said in a press release. “That’s exactly what the court said today.”

Stutzman will have to pay a $1,000 fine due to the ruling (though she did announce that she hopes to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court).

THEN, this afternoon, Ferguson’s office announced that the Trump administration was withdrawing its travel ban executive order, in light of a lawsuit Ferguson brought against the controversial measure. The Trump administration is framing the decision as a practicality—that by simply withdrawing the current order and issuing a revised one, they can address constitutional concerns while not waiting on the courts to decide the merits of the current one. However, Ferguson is claiming victory.

“Let’s be clear: Today’s court filing by the federal government recognizes the obvious — the President’s current Executive Order violates the Constitution,” Ferguson said in another press release. “President Trump could have sought review of this flawed Order in the Supreme Court but declined to face yet another defeat.”

Ferguson has become a media darling of late as he’s become a face of resistance to the Trump administration. Not to toot our own horn, but we kind of called it.

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