Good News 2019
note: Some of the older items may have new information not tracked here. It’s a record of what was uplifting at the time, not the current status.
- Dec 2 Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter to plead guilty in campaign finance violations case Prosecutors allege that Hunter and his wife diverted $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
- Dec 7 New Redmond City Council member, is among Washington state’s first Muslim women elected to local office Varisha Khan, 24, will represent a city of 67,600 residents that’s seen rapid growth and demographic shifts — about half are people of color and 40% are immigrants.
- Dec 10 Dick’s Sporting Goods crossed the NRA. Now Dick’s has to deal with… its best sales quarter in years
- Dec 11 Kentucky governor to restore voting rights to over 100,000 former felons Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed an executive order that will automatically restore voting rights to people with non-violent felonies once they complete their sentence. This is an incremental, but extremely significant, victory for voting rights advocates. Kentucky’s constitution imposed a lifetime ban on voting for people with a felony.
- Dec 11 Second federal judge blocks Trump from using military funds for border wall A federal judge in California ruled on Wednesday that the Trump administration could not use military funds for border wall construction
- Dec 16 Congress reaches deal to fund gun violence research for first time in decades Federal agencies will receive $25 million from Congress to study gun violence in a government spending deal reached by House and Senate negotiators — a major win for Democrats who have long pushed for dedicated funding to research the issue
- Dec 17 AG Ferguson sues to stop Trump Administration from using Washington courthouses to snare immigrants with no violent history Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump Administration for arresting immigrants in and near courthouses in Washington. This practice is harmful to public safety and Washington’s justice system.
- Nov 2 Judge Blocks Trump’s Plan to Bar Immigrants Who Can’t Pay for Health Care The court ruling is the latest to derail administration initiatives to limit the admission of certain legal immigrants
- Nov 5 Virginia Democrats Take Control of State Legislature With a Democratic governor in office, the party was in full control of Virginia state government for the first time in a generation.
- Nov 6 Judge Scraps ‘Conscience’ Rule Protecting Doctors Who Deny Care For Religious Reasons The U.S. judge found that the Trump administration’s rule violates the law in “numerous, fundamental, and far-reaching” ways. Critics said the rule prioritized providers over patients.
- Nov 6 U.S. Must Provide Mental Health Services to Families Separated at Border Under a “state-created danger” legal doctrine, a judge ordered the government to provide counseling and other services to compensate for trauma.
- Nov 7 Trump ordered to pay $2 million to charities over misuse of foundation, court documents say The settlement brings to an end a lawsuit filed last year by the New York attorney general’s office that alleged “persistently illegal conduct” at the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
- Nov 12 Supreme Court allows Remington case to proceed.
- Nov 12 Federal court rules government’s suspicionless searches of international travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment
- Nov 25 Federal Judge Rules That McGahn Must Testify, Delivering Blow To White HouseThe much-anticipated ruling could have implications for other key witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton who has refused to testify until a federal court weighed in.
- Nov 28 Judge presses pause on I-976; car-tab cuts won’t go into effect for now The plaintiffs suing to overturn the initiative “have sufficiently shown they are likely to prevail,” said the King County Superior Court judge.
- Oct 1 Federal judge upholds Harvard’s race conscious admissions process
- Oct 1 Firm ordered to pay $1million for illegally funneling money to Tim Eyman
- Oct 1 Geo Group runs out of banks as 100% of partners say no to private prison sector
- Oct 2 Judge blocks Georgia’s controversial abortion ban
- Oct 7 Gala planned by anti-Muslim group at Mar-a Lago is cancelled after accusations from civil rights advocacy groups that the president was “profiting from bigotry”
- Oct 7 Unilever announces plans to halve its use of non-recycled plastic packaging by 2025.
- Oct 8 Dick’s Sporting Goods Destroyed $5 Million Worth of Guns
- Oct 9 Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) put a permit decision on hold for a massive fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, WA, stating the company behind the refinery provided insufficient information about its carbon footprint and environmental impact.
- Oct 11 Five Federal Courts deal blows to Trump administration in one day
- Oct 11 Trump loses appeal to stop House subpoena of his tax documents
- Oct 11 Federal Judges In 3 States Block Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Rule For Green Cards Under the rule, officials would weigh whether a green card applicant will be self-sufficient. The rule had been set to go into effect on Oct. 15. It’s now blocked by three preliminary injunctions.
- Oct 20 Judge rules Florida can’t block felons from voting, even if they have unpaid fines The right to vote for 1.4 million felons in Florida got a boost Friday when a federal judge ruled that the state can’t prevent felons from voting, even if they can’t afford to pay court-ordered fines and fees.
- Oct 25 Judge rules the House is entitled to Mueller grand jury material. Huge win for Judiciary Committee / Dems.
- Oct 28 Federal Government Nixes Proposal To Charge Fees For National Mall Demonstrations The National Park Service said it received more than 140,000 public comments about its proposal, ultimately making its decision to withdraw based on those comments.
- Oct 29 Federal judge blocks Alabama abortion ban A federal judge has blocked Alabama’s near-total abortion ban from going into effect Nov. 15.
- Oct 30 Twitter Will Ban All Political Ads, C.E.O. Dorsey Says The social media company’s action is a stark contrast to Facebook, which is taking a hands-off approach to political advertising.
- Sep 3 NC court rules that GOP-drawn state legislative maps for House & Senate are unconstitutional gerrymanders & must be redrawn before 2020
- Sep 5 A federal judge ruled this week that an FBI watch list of more than 1 million “known or suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens in the database. The decision from U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia in favor of 23 Muslim Americans who sued over their inclusion in the Terrorist Screening Database found that the watch list infringes on their constitutional right to due process. Trenga noted that the list restricts their ability to fly and engage in everyday activities and backed the plaintiffs’ concerns that they were flagged secretly and without a clear methodology.
- Sep 5 Moms Demand Action secures commitments from grocery chains to prohibit open carry inside their stores.
- Sep 7 Judge blocks ICE from denying parole to asylum seekers
- Sep 11 – CA legislature passes a bill requiring app-based companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to treat contract workers as employees, providing workers with more stringent labor law protections.
- Sep 12 – CA legislature passes a bill banning private prisons, including ICE detention centers, from operating in the state.
- Sep 13 Judge Sanctions Eyman ruling $766,000 given to him were political
- Sep 13 145 business leaders representing the U.S.’s leading corporations advocate for gun safety, urging the Senate to pass red flag and background check legislation.
- Sep 19 Federal court blocked South Dakota law suppressing protest.
- Sep 19 Colt Ending production of AR-15’s
- Sep 19 – DHS Formally backs off of plans to deport sick immigrant children
- Sep 21 Millions of Youth Strike around the world for action
- Sept 24 Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry of Trump
- Sep 26 17 State Attorneys General sue over weakened Endangered Species Act Rules
- Sep 27 Judge blocks effort to indefinitely detain migrant families
- Sep 30 Inslee directs State board of health to ban flavored vape products
- Aug 16 Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson will face criminal charges related to a May 1st riot at a bar in Portland.
- Aug 19 NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner by using an illegal chokehold is fired.
- Aug 26 Johnson & Johnson is responsible for fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, judge rules in landmark case. The $572 million decision is the first to hold a drugmaker responsible for the opioid dispensing that sparked a nationwide epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.
- Aug 27 Gov. Inslee, Washington state officials vow to fund Planned Parenthood after Trump administration rule change
- Aug 27 Federal Judge Blocks Parts Of Missouri Law That Bans Abortions After 8 Weeks
- Aug 30 Georgia must replace paperless voting system before 2020 election.
- July 2 Citizenship question will not be on the census!
- July 13 One of the largest US coal companies by volume, Blackjewel, recently made an emergency bankruptcy filing.
- May 2 Facebook bans extremist leaders including Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos for being ‘dangerous’ The bans are a sign that the social network is more aggressively enforcing its hate speech policies under pressure from civil rights groups.
- May 3 ICE flights will no longer use Boeing Field. A week after King County announced it would seek to ban flights from Boeing Field that carry detained immigrants, a company that has serviced those flights is making the county’s wish a reality sooner than expected. While ICE flights can technically take off and land at the airport, they need the services of a company there to operate.
- May 3 Federal judges declare Ohio congressional map unconstitutional. The decision, similar to rulings in other states, comes as the Supreme Court considers whether courts even have a role to play in gerrymandering cases.
- May 3 Court delays block Keystone XL pipeline construction in 2019 An executive for the company proposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada’s oil sands into the U.S. says it has missed the 2019 construction season due to court delays. TransCanada says it won’t be doing any construction work on the Keystone XL pipeline in 2019, because of court delays. Plans to begin construction of the long-delayed pipeline got blocked last November when a federal judge in Montana ordered additional environmental reviews of the project.
- May 11 Rudy Giuliani cancels his trip to the Ukraine, blaming Democrats ‘spin’. Facing withering attacks accusing him of seeking foreign assistance for President Trump’s re-election campaign, Rudy Giuliani canceled a trip to Kiev in which he planned to push the incoming Ukrainian government to press ahead with investigations that he hoped would benefit Mr. Trump. The trip raised the specter of a lawyer for Mr. Trump pressing a foreign government to pursue investigations that his allies hope could help him win re-election.
- May 28 Texas secretary of state resigns after botched voter purge. Acting Texas Secretary of State David Whitley (R) resigned after his office wrongly questioned the U.S. citizenship of nearly 100,000 people. Whitley’s office early this year launched a botched review of the state’s voter rolls, saying officials had discovered as many as 95,000 non-citizens registered to vote and sending lists of names to county elections officials for review and purge. Within days, the secretary of state’s office backtracked on the announcement after discovering that its original list was not properly vetted and included thousands of citizens.
- May 20 Judge rules against Trump in fight over president’s financial records President Trump on Monday lost an early round of his court fight with Democrats after a federal judge ruled the president’s accounting firm must turn over his financial records to Congress as lawmakers seek to assert their oversight authority. “It is simply not fathomable,” the judge wrote, “that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.”
- May 30 Business-software giant Salesforce instituted a new policy barring retail customers from using its technology to sell semiautomatic weapons and some other firearms. The Silicon Valley tech giant has delivered a different message to gun-selling retailers such as Camping World: Stop selling military-style rifles, or stop using our software
- May 30 New Hampshire abolishes death penalty after lawmakers override governor. Lawmakers in New Hampshire voted Thursday to abolish the death penalty, overriding a veto from the state’s Republican governor and making it the 21st state to abandon capital punishment.
- May 31 Missouri’s Last Abortion Provider Wins Reprieve, As Judge Rules Against State A Missouri judge has blocked the state’s attempt to close down Missouri’s last abortion provider. Missouri Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer granted a request to temporarily prevent state officials from revoking the license of a clinic operated by a St. Louis Planned Parenthood chapter, as the state’s health department had sought to do.
- May 31 New baby orca seen in endangered pod Whale watchers spotted a new orca calf in the J pod of the endangered southern resident killer whale population Thursday. If confirmed, it would be the second orca calf born since January in a population that many scientists fear is at risk of extinction. The new orca calf raises the population to 76 whales.
- Apr 1st A proposal to copy some of the Affordable Care Act’s federal protections into state law has cleared Washington’s Legislature.
- Apr 16 A federal judge blocked the U.S. from ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, the second court to find that revoking TPS was improper.
- Apr 25 Federal judges rule Michigan gerrymandering unconstitutional, order maps redrawn by 2020. The three-judge panel gave state lawmakers until Aug. 1 to come up with a new plan, or the court will draw up the boundaries for the 2020 elections.
- Apr 25 The Trump administration will not move forward with plans to open virtually all federal waters to offshore drilling. The administration is putting the expansion on hold after a federal judge shot down its attempt to overturn President Barack Obama’s Arctic drilling ban.
- Apr 26 Kansas Supreme Court Rules State Constitution Protects Right To Abortion. The court said that the state’s Bill of Rights “allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body … decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.”
- Apr 26 Texas will end its botched voter citizenship review and rescind its list of flagged voters. The state had questioned the citizenship status of almost 100,000 registered voters, but many naturalized citizens turned out to be on the list.
- Apr 27 Washington judge blocks Trump’s family planning law nationwide. A federal judge in Washington state has blocked the Trump Administration’s new family planning rules from taking effect.
- Apr 30 House panel allots $50M to study gun violence The bill provides $25 million to CDC and $25 million to NIH to research how to prevent firearm injury and death.
- Mar. 1st The Department of Homeland Security said that it will comply with a federal court order by automatically extending to January 2020 the temporary protected status of more than 250,000 immigrants the Trump administration left facing possible deportation. The renewals will cover TPS beneficiaries from four nations — El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan and Nicaragua — whose provisional residency status was set to lapse after the Trump administration determined they no longer merited the protections.
- Mar 10 Banks bow to pressure to stop profiting from Trump’s immigration policy, but Big Tech remains defiant
- Mar 14 Remington and Other Gun Companies Lose Major Ruling Over Liability
- Mar 20 Federal judge demands Trump administration reveal how its drilling plans will fuel climate change
- Mar 21 Judge Restores Wisconsin Governor’s Powers, Strikes Down GOP Laws
- Mar 22 Michigan will no longer fund adoption agencies that deny LGBT parents
- Mar 30 Trump offshore drilling order unlawful, judge rules
- Feb.7th The Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana abortion law which required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Opponents said it could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority.
- Feb.10th Adam Smith signs on to support the Green New Deal.
- Feb. 12th The Senate passed a sweeping public lands conservation bill, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures. The Senate voted 92 to 8 in favor of the bill.
- Feb. 14th Despite pressure from President Trump, the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors voted to close a large coal-fired power plant.
- Feb. 19th Educators in West Virginia, whose walkout a year ago inspired teacher revolts from coast to coast, succeeded in killing legislation that would have brought charter schools and private school vouchers to their state, successfully pressuring lawmakers just half a day into a strike.
- Feb. 25th The Supreme Court placed limitations on policing for profit across the country in its ruling against civil asset forfeiture. Its unanimous decision for the first time prohibits all 50 states from imposing excessive fines, including the seizure of property, on people accused or convicted of a crime.
- Feb. 26th Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he will file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Washington State challenging the Trump Administration’s “gag rule” that impacts federal funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning services.
- Feb. 27th A federal judge has ordered Texas election officials to halt a planned purge of electoral rolls, calling their effort “ham-handed” and “threatening” and saying there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state.
- Feb. 28th The House passed a bill expanding federal background checks for gun purchases and transfers, the first major new firearm restrictions to advance in a generation. Although it is unlikely to be considered in the Senate, Democrats and gun-control advocates celebrated Wednesday’s vote as the first significant congressional movement on tightening access to firearms since the 1990s.
- Jan. 14th A federal judge in Pennsylvania blocked the Trump administration from implementing a rule allowing employers to decline to offer contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.
- Jan.14th The House GOP stripped Steve King of his committee posts over his white supremacy comments.
- Jan. 15th A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, marking the first major ruling in a controversy that has pitted states and cities against top administration officials and is likely to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. The New York case is the first of three high-profile trials around the country that are challenging the question.
- Jan. 17th A federal judge struck down controversial restrictions on early voting in Wisconsin that were passed during the state Legislature’s lame-duck session in December. The restrictions limited early voting in Wisconsin to the two weeks before an election. Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed the new restrictions into law roughly three weeks before he was to leave office and be replaced by Democrat Tony Evers.
- Jan. 28th The King County Council passed an ordinance that puts a six-month moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure. The measure can’t prohibit federally-regulated pipelines or rail lines but its aim is to update zoning and permitting to prevent new fossil fuel storage, processing, or compressor facilities.
- Jan. 31st Washington State has announced plans to regulate federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers to cool hot water and help salmon. The state Department of Ecology has initiated a public comment period on proposed new regulations on federal dam operations. Ecology’s goal is to for the first time initiate work toward meeting state water-quality standards, including temperature, at federal dams on the Columbia and Snake.