At first, Seattle was an “anarchist jurisdiction”.
Now we are not.
All it took was a new president.
Five months after former President Donald Trump’s administration identified Seattle, New York and Portland as “anarchist jurisdictions” allowing “violence and property destruction”, President Joe Biden revoked the label on Wednesday.
Trump’s label, issued last September in the heat of the presidential campaign, carried threats that the government could use it as part of a push to withhold federal funding. It also came at a time when Trump’s presidential campaign increasingly focused on protests and riots in liberal cities like Seattle, Portland, and New York.
The three cities quickly filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, calling the anarchist label “arbitrary and capricious” and arguing that it could not be used as a basis for withholding federal funds.
Seattle leaders blew the label when it was issued last fall, and they did so again on Wednesday.
Fortunately, Seattle no longer has to face the madness of a president ruling through Twitter or political threats. President Trump’s unsubstantiated lawsuits were directed against our city for advocating for immigrants, civil rights and democracy as he continued to divide our country with hatred, ”Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a prepared statement on Wednesday.
Seattle city attorney Pete Holmes said “a small part of me” wants to see the city’s lawsuit against the Trump administration in court.
“But I would much prefer to see President Biden undo his predecessor’s will with the stroke of a pen,” said Holmes in a prepared statement. “I’m glad that this nonsense was cleared from the decks, as there is no shortage of legal disputes in my office, from the eviction moratorium to the payment of danger for frontline workers. Continue.”
Biden revoked the designation with little frills on Wednesday.
“The following actions by the president are revoked,” he wrote in an executive order listing the anarchist jurisdiction order and five others issued by Trump.
The Trump administration had cited the Capitol Hill Organized Protest Area, a six-block area that police had largely abandoned after days of often hostile clashes between police and protesters. At least two people were killed in or near the CHOP. The police cleared the area after about three weeks.
The six block area was evacuated for almost three months before the administration designated the entire city as an anarchist jurisdiction. The Trump administration said the city “refused to take reasonable steps to counter criminal activity” despite the city approving the CHOP.
Trump had previously tried in his administration to prevent federal funding from going to Seattle and other cities that did not work with federal immigration services.
He also said coronavirus aid shouldn’t go to “protective cities”.