law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president in November, questions have been raised about the lease he signed to operate a luxury hotel in the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The lease specifically says the lease holder cannot be a federal elected official. So critics repeatedly have called upon the federal General Services Administration to enforce its agreement, and make President Trump walk away from his deal to run the Trump International Hotel.

Outside the federal courthouse in downtown Seattle last Friday afternoon, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson suddenly found himself in the national spotlight after federal Judge James L. Robart had just imposed an immediate, nationwide halt to President Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees. As camera shutters clicked, Ferguson played David to Trump's Goliath.

"The law is a powerful thing," Ferguson said. "It has the ability to hold everybody accountable to it and that includes the president of the United States."

Bill Radke talks with Emily Bazelon about the ongoing court battle over President Trump's immigration and refugee travel ban. Bazelon is a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine and a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.

First it was companies like Amazon and Expedia. Now Washington state’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration has the support of former top U.S. officials.

The Department of Justice has filed a brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to a legal challenge to President Trump's executive order on immigration.

The court is set to hear oral arguments by phone on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, in the next critical legal test of whether the president's decision to ban travel by people from seven Muslim-majority countries and halt refugee resettlement in the U.S. will be upheld.

The federal conspiracy trials against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers is beginning on Monday, with jury selection for the trial of six of Bundy's supporters.

The cases, stemming from a 2014 armed standoff against federal agents in Nevada, are unfolding in several stages. Bundy and his four sons are among the 17 total defendants but won't be immediately entering the courtroom.

When the country elects a Republican president, and there's an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, that president will nominate a conservative to fill the seat. The question is: What kind of a conservative?

There are different kinds of conservative judges, from the pragmatist to the originalist. Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee, is a self-proclaimed originalist.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepares to talk to the media about a federal judge's ruling on the Trump refugee order Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

What was the scene like?

KUOW’s Amy Radil: It's usually pretty sedate but there was a huge turnout to see this hearing. I heard some court employees talking saying they've never seen such a crowd. The courtrooms aren't that big so there was an overflow room a few floors up where people watched it on video.

Updated at 4:13 a.m. ET Sunday

President Trump's travel ban remains suspended, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a Justice Department request to stay the suspension of President Trump's order.

The court asked opponents of the ban to respond to the Trump administration's appeal by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT; the court asked the Justice Department to respond by Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It ended almost as dramatically as it began.

After working “literally around the clock” all week, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his team went to court against President Donald Trump Friday – and they won, securing a temporary halt to the President’s immigration ban.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The late Justice Antonin Scalia may not have been the original originalist, but he popularized what had once been a fringe legal doctrine. He argued for it both on and off the U.S. Supreme Court and brought originalism into if not the mainstream then at least into the center of legal debate.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

President Trump has nominated conservative favorite Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

"Judge Gorsuch has a superb intellect, an unparalleled legal education, and a commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text. He will make an incredible justice as soon as the Senate confirms him," Trump said in announcing his pick.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration. The suit alleges the Executive Order is harming Washington residents and damaging the state's economy.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Washington state is the first in the nation to challenge President Trump’s travel ban. Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a federal lawsuit, saying major portions of the executive order are unconstitutional.  

In the state’s complaint filed Monday, Ferguson says the administration’s policy discriminates based on country of origin and religion. 


From the Black Lives Matter movement to environmentalists trying to stop new oil pipelines to the recent Women's March against President Trump, the past year has been filled with large, often spontaneous protests.

Now the reaction to those protests is appearing in a number of Republican-controlled statehouses across the country, where lawmakers are introducing proposals to increase penalties for those who block roadways while protesting.

President Trump has made his pick to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.

So now what?

The 26-year-old man accused of opening fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this month pleaded not guilty to 22 counts at his arraignment in a federal court on Monday.

Esteban Santiago Ruiz allegedly traveled from Alaska and started firing in the Florida airport's crowded baggage claim area. Investigators say he continued until he ran out of ammunition, then dropped his weapon and was arrested by law enforcement officers.

Muwafag Gasim, of Sudan and Seattle, was detained for five hours upon return from a family visit. Gasim is a construction engineer in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Muwafag Gasim, a construction engineer in Seattle, touched down at Sea-Tac International Airport at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

He lined up with his fellow passengers to present his passport and visa to U.S. Customs and Border Protection – a step required of passengers flying in from abroad.

Dan Satterberg (left), Andre Tayor (brother of Che Taylor who was fatally shot by police), and former SPD Chief Norm Stamper at a community meeting.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

An inquest is scheduled to get underway at the King County Courthouse this week in the death of Che Taylor. In February 2016, Taylor was shot by Seattle police in the Wedgwood neighborhood. Now a jury will hear more facts of the case.

Police look out over a growing protest at Sea-Tac International Airport, where up to 13 people have been detained one day after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim countries.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When officials at Sea-Tac International Airport got wind of President Donald Trump’s latest order, it came like a slap in the face.

It was just before midnight on Friday when they learned there would be a temporary – but immediate – ban on all refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries.

Sheriff Says Clark County Is Not A 'Sanctuary'

Jan 27, 2017

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Friday clarifying the county is not a so-called sanctuary for immigrants.

In a statement published on Facebook, Sheriff Chuck Atkins said the southwest Washington county does not accept Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers for people who are living in the country illegally.

But he says that doesn’t make them a sanctuary county either.

Hundreds of people around the country are still suffering from complications linked to injections of tainted medicine produced at a Massachusetts pharmacy in 2012.

A nationwide outbreak of fungal infections was tied to the shipment of nearly 18,000 contaminated vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone, a steroid, made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.

It happens thousands of times a year in Washington state: someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases.

For decades, U.S. authorities have been preparing to prosecute one of the world's most feared drug traffickers, known as El Chapo.

Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

Mexico has extradited to the United States its most notorious drug trafficker, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, according to statements from officials of both countries.

A statement by the U.S. Justice Department says Guzman landed Thursday evening at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y. The department also says he faces six separate indictments around the country for crimes "in connection with his leadership of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel."

The global money service company Western Union has admitted it helped people commit wire fraud, among other criminal violations, and agreed to pay $586 million.

The settlement is the result of an investigation that found Western Union was "willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program," the Justice Department said in a statement.

Noor Salman, the wife of the man who killed 49 people last June at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., has pleaded not guilty to two federal charges.

Salman was arrested earlier this week and charged with providing material support to a terrorist and obstruction of justice for allegedly knowing about Omar Mateen's plan to slaughter people at the nightclub.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen was killed by police.

In Washington state, there’s no law to keep you from checking Facebook while you drive. But that could change during this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that could force you to cut down your phone use on the road -- or pay a hefty fine if you get caught.

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Bill Radke speaks with State Senator Steve O'Ban and Seattle attorney Jason Rittereiser about the proposal by the attorney general's office to abolish the death penalty in Washington State. 

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