The Easterner

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at EWU

Courtesy of arg.wa.gov

By Kendall Koch, Reporter

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Students gathered in Hargreaves Hall on Nov. 30 to hear Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speak and answer questions about current political and legal issues.

After his introduction and joking that he wished to stay to watch the football game the next day, Ferguson began his presentation, with his focus on Washington state’s lawsuits against the Trump administration.

The most recognized of these lawsuits was the Travel Ban or Executive Order 13769, which denied any persons entry traveling back to the U.S. from a list of banned countries. The document was kept private, in which any access to see why President Trump had this order happen was not allowed. The day of the announcement from the White House, Ferguson explained how his office sprang into action regarding the order.

“As a lawyer, I have to ask myself three questions; One, are Washington state residents being harmed? Two, do we have good legal arguments? Three, do I have a standing to bring this lawsuit forward?” Ferguson said.

Ferguson’s office worked the whole weekend and filed the lawsuit on the first business day. When the news of the lawsuit came out, many high-ranking Democrat officials contacted Ferguson regarding this lawsuit inquiring as to why Washington state was making such a bold move against the president. Ferguson responded that it is important to focus on questions that are relevant to the decisions that help the country stand united.

In Feburary 2017, Ferguson and his team received word of the winning ruling against Trump and his administration.

“The president’s current executive order violates the Constitution,” Ferguson said in a press release from his office that day.

Despite the initial victory in blocking the travel ban, the Supreme Court later ruled that it is legal and will be upheld.

In the following September, DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was rescinded by Trump. According to the New York Times, Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“I received many calls that day from many Washington state residents in tears wondering if deportation was in their near future,” Ferguson said. “I had to do something.”

According to The Seattle Times, in September 2017, 15 states had filed lawsuits against the Trump administration; all states that filed the lawsuits had all Democratic Attorney Generals showing a united front.

After opening the presentation to questions, Dante Tyler, a senior and the ASEWU President, asked how we can, as students, really make a difference, and how do you (Ferguson) stay so motivated?

“I have no interest in money, I had a 1993 Honda Civic up until a few years ago, and I try to stay humble through this,” Ferguson said. “You, as students, need to focus on what matters in life, give service to people in the community that you are in and to make a long-lasting impact.”

Morgan Meeks, a running start student from University High School, attended the presentation and felt more informed afterward.

“I do think that I learned a lot about the subject matter, about how the state can stop the president violating the Constitutional rights that everyone has,” Meeks said.

Though it was a short visit from a Washington state government official, Ferguson left a lasting impression on students telling them to stay humble, focus on what matters as a student and recognize the Constitutional rights as a citizen of the U.S.

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Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at EWU