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.

More in News & Comment

Since he first ran for the King County Prosecutor’s Office in 2007, Dan Satterberg has never faced an electoral challenger. Photo courtesy Dan Satterberg
The Political Invulnerability of King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg

He hasn’t faced an electoral challenge since taking office. Does his new longshot social justice-minded challenger stand a chance?

Aneelah Afzali, executive director of American Muslim Empowerment Network, was the featured speaker at 21 Progress’s Rise #7 event. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
How a Local Muslim Activist Is Bridging the Faith Divide to Foster Hope

As part of 21 Progress’ Rise series, Aneelah Afzali drew parallels between anti-Muslim rhetoric and immigration xenophobia.

After Seattle’s controversial employee head tax was repealed, King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to bond against existing tax revenues to generate $100 million for affordable housing. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikipedia Commons
County Executive Proposes $100 Million Affordable Housing Bond

The money was already coming, but Constantine wants to speed up the process.

The exterior of the University District crisis pregnancy center, 3W Medical for Women. Photo by Keiko DeLuca
How Title X Cuts Impact UW Women’s Health

Some student advocates worry that slashed budgets could drive student to misleading crisis pregnancy centers.

Trans Pride Seattle seeks to strengthen the transgender and non-binary community. 
Photo courtesy of Gender Justice League
Trans Pride Seattle Continues Marching

In light of federal budget cuts, the parade that highlights marginalized voices survives due to community crowdfunding.

As the executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, Violet Lavatai (left) believes that YIMBY policies 
do not actually help the communities most in need of housing. Photo courtesy Tenants Union of Washington State
The Growing Power of Seattle YIMBYs

The tech-funded “Yes in My Backyard” movement thinks the housing crisis can be solved by rapid development, but does it only benefit those at the top?

Hidden River Farms is 100 acres of farmland in Grays Harbor County. Photo by Lucia Wyss
Sowing the Seeds of Mental Health

Suicide is an epidemic amongst agricultural workers, but young farmers and state legislators are working to find solutions.

Seattle and King County Officials Want a Safe Injection Van

The mobile project—an alternative to permanent sites—still doesn’t have a defined timeline.

Most Read