Seattle protesters at a rally in July. (Fake images)
President Joe Biden issued an executive order Wednesday, rescinding the classification of “anarchist jurisdiction” that the Trump administration had imposed on Seattle, Portland and New York City in 2020.
Local leaders react to Trump’s plan to withdraw federal funding from Seattle
Trump’s Justice Department had tried to conditionally distribute or withhold federal funds to those cities, claiming that their state and local leaders had “prevented their own law enforcement agencies and agencies from doing their job.” That came in response to a series of clashes between protesters and police during the summer of 2020, in response to the death of George Floyd.
Seattle, New York City and Portland subsequently filed a joint lawsuit against the Justice Department for that classification of “anarchist jurisdiction,” calling it an “illegal abuse of federal power.” The then head of the US Office of Management and Budget, Russ Vought, justified the move at the time by claiming that the funding Trump sought to withhold was part of “discretionary grant programs” and as such was not specifically destined by Congress to cities. like Seattle.
That lawsuit will no longer move forward following Biden’s decision on Wednesday to rescind his predecessor’s order.
“Our coalition’s comprehensive denunciation accomplished what it set out to do: stop the Trump Administration’s effort in its tracks,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “A small part of me would enjoy seeing our disgraced former president lose again in court, but I’d rather see President Biden undo the will of his predecessor with a stroke of his pen. I’m glad this cover-up nonsense has been cleared up, considering my office has no shortage of litigation to handle, from the eviction moratorium to the hazard pay for frontline workers. “
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also responded Wednesday, saying the city “no longer has to face the insanity of a president ruling on Twitter or political threats.”
“President Trump’s unfounded demands targeted our city for defending immigrants, civil rights, and democracy while further dividing our country with hatred,” Durkan said in a written statement. “Rather than trying to withhold all of Seattle’s federal funds like the previous administration, President Biden has proposed more support for cities to help our residents and small businesses at this unprecedented time.”