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

A Canadian safe consumption site in Lethbridge. Photo supplied by ARCHES in Lethbridge
County Plans for Second Safe Drug Site Put on Hold

The move follows intense resistance to the proposal from the suburbs.

David Swaintek stands in front of his junk removal truck. Photo courtesy of Hanna Swaintek/JDog Junk Removal Lake Union
Veteran’s Junk Removal Franchise Strives for Environmental Sustainability

In light of China’s recent recycling regulations, JDog Junk Removal could help reduce the burden on landfills.

Photo by Josh Kelety
King County Bans Chewing Tobacco in Sports Stadiums

Advocates say the ban will keep youth athletes from using dip.

King County Council Passes Renter Protections Bill

The legislation is intended to prevent landlords from discriminating based on the source of a prospective tenant’s income.

Westin Hotel workers hold up signs in support of housekeepers’ rights. Photo by Hannah Long-Higgins
Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative Still Awaits Full Rollout

Over a year after voter approval, the law’s framework remains unset and open for public suggestion.

Activists Begin Collecting Signatures for Carbon Fee Initiative

Following inaction from state legislators, supporters of I-1631 are aiming for the November ballot.

An artist rendering of the Tateuchi Center in Bellevue. Courtesy of the Tateuchi Center
County Funding for Eastside Performing Arts Center in Jeopardy

Bellevue’s long-planned Tateuchi Center could lose $1.2 million.

Photo by Atomic Taco/Flickr
What’s Next After I-940?

Police reform advocates pivot their focus to officer’s interactions with people in mental health crises.

Most Read