Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson Weighs Legal Action Over Seattle National Archives Closure

This is a follow-up to the earlier article, Genealogical Forum of Oregon Objects to Seattle National Archives Closure, that is available at: http://bit.ly/2S7S0iZ:

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said his office is considering the possibility of a lawsuit against the federal government in the wake of the decision over the weekend by the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives and Records Administration to close and sell the Seattle National Archives facility.

“I know the one thing that has stopped [the Trump Administration] from taking actions that I think are unlawful and unconstitutional and that’s a federal lawsuit, so that’s what we’re focused on,” Ferguson said. “Now look, the overall policy, do I think it’s outrageous? It’s crazy. Yes, for all the reasons you’ve already talked about, right? It makes no sense, and to take the history, the federal history of our region, and send it thousands of miles away will have a huge impact on a lot of folks and tribes here in our community.”

You can read more in an article by Feliks Banel in the MYNorthwest web site at: https://mynorthwest.com/1689663/bob-ferguson-legal-action-seattle-national-archives-closure/.


I’m a Washington State resident and Bob is my hero! I hope he proceeds with a lawsuit against the feds regarding this.


Good for Mr. Ferguson! I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend–to close branches of the National Archives–which would mean divorcing people from their history.


I am the Communications Chair for Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. I am forwarding this to my e-list!


To offer some background on this situation, the proposed closure was apparently set in motion in 2014, when the NARA facility in Anchorage, Alaska was closed and the records it had held were relocated to the Seattle facility, which is now also slated for closure. To quote from an article in The Anchorage Daily News: “An obscure federal agency, the Public Buildings Reform Board, proposed the move and set the decision into motion. They seem to have conducted only one public meeting to explain their decision to shutter the Seattle facility. That meeting occurred in Denver, of all places, and the Board neither sought nor received feedback from the residents who live in the Pacific Northwest.”
So this is apparently an ongoing process, under the control of this “obscure” federal agency. We should certainly attempt to discover just who sits on this “Public Buildings Reform Board”, how they are appointed, etc., as they are the apparent source of the decision.


David Paul Davenport February 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm

I am willing to bet that the NA would be willing to transfer the building and contents to the State of Washington for a nominal sum if the State of Washington would provide the funds to operate it. In fact, I’m also willing to bet that the price of the facility would be a lot less than the cost of litigation. In my opinion it is too bad that attorneys get to decided to sue each other in a court of law presided over by another lawyer. Tax payers get to pay for all three who will pocket huge sums which the taxpayers are compelled to to pay.


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