Biden administration revokes Seattle’s ‘anarchist jurisdiction’ label

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President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Wednesdayreversing the “anarchist jurisdiction” classification that the Trump administration imposed on Seattle, Portland and New York in 2020.

Local leaders react to Trump’s plan to withdraw federal funds from Seattle

Trump’s Justice Department had sought to conditionally distribute or withhold federal funds from those cities, saying their state and local leaders had “impeded their own law enforcement and agencies from doing their jobs.” It came in response to a series of clashes between protesters and police over the summer of 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd.

Seattle, New York and Portland later filed a joint complaint against the DOJ over this classification of “anarchist jurisdiction”, calling it an “unlawful abuse of federal power”. Russ Vought, then head of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, justified the move at the time by saying the funding Trump was seeking to withhold was part of “discretionary grant programs” and, as such, n was not specifically assigned by Congress to cities. like Seattle.

That lawsuit will not move forward following Biden’s decision on Wednesday to overturn his predecessor’s order.

“Our coalition’s overall complaint has achieved what it set out to do: bring the Trump administration’s efforts to a halt,” Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said. “A small part of me would love to see our disgraced former president lose again in court, but I would much rather see President Biden undo the will of his predecessor with the stroke of a pen. I’m glad this nonsense is being wiped off the decks given that my office has no shortage of litigation to handle, from the eviction moratorium to hazard pay for front-line workers.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also responded Wednesday, saying the city “no longer has to deal with the madness of a president who rules by Twitter or political threats.”

“President Trump’s baseless lawsuit targeted our city for standing up for immigrants, civil rights and democracy as he further divided our country with hatred,” Durkan said in a written statement. “Instead of trying to withhold all federal funding from Seattle like the previous administration, President Biden has offered more support for cities to help our residents and small businesses during this unprecedented time.”

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