Judge Grants Temporary Reprieve for Northwest Federal Archives


Cheers from historians, academics and tribal members echoed across the region on Friday when U. S. District Judge John Coughenour granted an injunction halting the impending sale of the National Archives property in Northeast Seattle.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson sought the temporary injunction to allow time for courts to consider four lawsuits reversing a Trump administration plan to sell the archives’ building and land off Sand Point Way and ship nearly a million boxes of Northwest history a thousand miles away. Here’s my earlier article on the controversy.

Judge Coughenour, once a top litigator at Bogle & Gates in Seattle, was President Ronald Reagan’s first appointment to the federal bench in Washington. As my Post Alley colleague Joel Connelly points out, Judge Coughenour is a famous disciplinarian, feared by lawyers who prepare too hastily. He does not rule lightly, which may signal that he believes the Ferguson lawsuits are likely to prevail. 

Jean Godden
Jean Godden
Jean Godden wrote columns first for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and late for the Seattle Times. In 2002, she quit to run for City Council where she served for 12 years. Since then she published a book of city stories titled “Citizen Jean.” She is now co-host of The Bridge aired on community station KMGP at 101.1 FM. You can email tips and comments to Jean at jgodden@blarg.net.


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