AG Ferguson: Some cases against federal government will continue despite President Biden taking office

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Attorney General Bob Ferguson
has filed 97 cases against federal 
Attorney General’s Office has filed 97 lawsuits against the federal government since January of 2017

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered an update on his lawsuits against the federal government in the wake of President Joe Biden’s inauguration last Wednesday.

Washington was the first state to challenge President Trump in court. Beginning with his successful lawsuit challenging President Trump’s first travel ban filed just 10 days after Trump took office, Ferguson filed 97 cases against the federal government during President Trump’s term in office.

To date, he scored 39 legal victories in those cases, including multiple victories at the United States Supreme Court. He experienced only two legal defeats.

The Attorney General’s Office maintains a list of all 97 lawsuits on his website.

Ferguson’s office led 36 of the 97 legal challenges. The lead state typically does the overwhelming majority of the work. Financial recoveries from successful lawsuits paid for nearly all of the legal work on these cases, not the state Legislature.

In other words, corporations and individuals that violated the law funded these lawsuits, not taxpayers.

More than 60 of the 97 cases — including 17 legal victories and one adverse ruling — are still being actively litigated. Many of them are likely to continue working their way through the courts despite President Biden taking office.

In recent weeks, the Trump Administration filed a flurry of so-called “midnight regulations” further weakening critical environmental protections in the waning days of the former president’s term. 

Washington joined 12 multistate lawsuits led by other states in the last week challenging these last-minute attempts to undermine our environment.

“If someone had told me four years ago that, by the time President Trump left office, I would file 97 lawsuits against the federal government, I would not have believed them,” Ferguson said. 
“Republicans sometimes asked me why I filed so many lawsuits against the Trump Administration. I would respond that they should ask the president why he pursued so many illegal policies that hurt our state. 
"Throughout his term, the president demonstrated his contempt for the rule of law, and our record in court speaks for itself.”
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