Category Archives: legal

Sawant crosses the line

Council member Kshama Sawant, her staff, her Socialist Alternative party, and their partner organizations have done some incredible work over the past several weeks in organizing rallies and protests to give voice to opposition to President Trump’s most abhorrent executive orders and policies. But last week she turned the rhetoric knob to 11, and in so doing argued for some actions that are not just ill-conceived but illegal, dangerous to public safety, and a threat to one of the most important foundations of our democracy. And that places her in clear and direct violation of her duties and responsibilities as a City Council member.

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Ramirez DACA case goes to crazy-town

One of the big stories this week — locally and nationally — has been the arrest and detention of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old resident of Washington State who was brought to the US illegally as a child and has been a beneficiary of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Access for Child Arrivals (DACA) program since 2014. Last Friday he was arrested and is still being detained by U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  And at a time when immigrants — both legal and illegal — are living in fear of the Trump administration’s saber-rattling about immigration policy, this has become a key test for the fate of DACA under Trump.

Tomorrow morning at 10am, there will be a hearing in his case before a U.S. district court magistrate judge. The government filed their brief this morning; Ramirez’s legal team filed their response tonight. And the stuff that’s in them is mind-blowing.

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Understanding Trump’s “sanctuary city” executive order

Today President Trump signed an executive order which, as promised, proposes to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.” And Mayor Murray, along with some Council members, stood their ground.

Back in November I wrote a summary of what the city could lose in federal funding, but at the time is was difficult to tell whether Trump would really follow through, and if so how he would structure such an order. Now that he’s clarified that, it’s time to examine exactly what his executive order, and the local and federal laws, say.

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ACLU files class-action lawsuit against Seattle and WSDOT for homeless sweeps

Today a class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the ACLU on behalf of Seattle’s homeless, against the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The suit charges that the city and WSDOT’s “sweeps” of homeless encampments violate the constitutional rights of the encampments’ residents by

seizing and destroying the property of people who are living outside without adequate and effective notice, an opportunity to be heard, or a meaningful way to reclaim any property that was not destroyed.

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