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About Bob Ferguson

Attorney General Bob Ferguson is an experienced lawyer, independent leader, and fourth-generation Washingtonian. As Attorney General, he is holding powerful special interests accountable when they don’t play by the rules, defending our civil rights, protecting Washington’s environment and wildlife, and advocating for the most vulnerable in our state.

Bob’s family homesteaded on the beautiful Skagit River, which may explain why Bob is such an enthusiastic mountain climber and backpacker. He has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state's highest peaks.

Bob is an internationally-rated chess master. Bob has twice won the Washington State Chess Championship.

Bob lives with his wife Colleen, and their twins, Jack and Katie.

In 2017, TIME named Bob one of the 100 Most Influential people in the world.

Ferguson’s legal record against the Trump Administration

Bob has filed more than 80 lawsuits against the Trump Administration. Washington state has 37 wins’s under Bob’s leadership. Twenty-two of these decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Bob’s victories include:

  • Permanently defeating President Trump’s original Muslim Travel Ban that was significantly broader than the later version upheld by the Supreme Court;
  • Successfully blocking President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, the federal program that protects DREAMers; and
  • Blocking President Trump’s plan to allow 3D-printed “ghost” gun plans to be legally disseminated on the internet.

Bob Ferguson is an experienced attorney. Bob is Washington's 18th Attorney General. Since 2013, he has served as Washington state's chief legal officer, directing an office of nearly 600 attorneys and 600 professional staff. Bob received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1995. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington, where he was student body president.

Bob began his legal career in Spokane where he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge W. Fremming Nielsen of the Federal District Court for Eastern Washington. He then clerked for Judge Myron Bright of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Midwest. Bob returned to Seattle and joined Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates), one of Washington's leading law firms. As a private attorney, he donated hundreds of hours of pro bono legal advice working to preserve open space, assist non-profits, and advance tribal rights.

Bob is defending the constitution. Standing up for the rule of law and American values, Bob successfully blocked – and eventually defeated – President Trump’s original travel ban. The Trump Administration ultimately decided not to appeal the first travel ban to the Supreme Court, and agreed to reimburse Washington for its legal fees. Bob believes everyone is accountable to the law – including the President of the United States.

Bob is standing up for our civil rights. Bob formed the Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit in the Washington Attorney General’s Office. He personally argued the Arlene’s Flowers case before the Washington State Supreme Court after a flower shop owner refused to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding; he won the case in a 9-0 decision, guarantee guaranteeing same sex couples the same rights as opposite sex couples in the marketplace.

Bob is fighting for consumer rights. Bob has made consumer protection a cornerstone of the Attorney General’s Office – cracking down on powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. Bob has doubled the size of the Consumer Protection Division in the Attorney General’s Office – at no cost to taxpayers! He has taken on several billion-dollar corporations that violated the law, and returned hundreds of millions of dollars back to the hardworking people of Washington.

Bob is protecting our environment. Bob has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington’s trails, and climbed many of the state’s highest peaks; as an avid backpacker and climber, Bob has a strong commitment to the protection of our state’s beautiful and unique environment. As Attorney General, Bob has established the Environmental Crimes Unit and Counsel for Environmental Protection to protect our environment. He has since won more than a dozen convictions for crimes against the environment. He filed a major lawsuit against the Monsanto Corporation for polluting Washington’s waterways with PCBs. Bob successfully sued the federal government to force a speedier clean-up of the Hanford nuclear facility. He won multiple lawsuits against the Trump Administration to protect critical Obama-era rules that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bob is fighting for fair elections and open government. Bob secured the largest campaign finance penalty of any kind in the nation's history against the Grocery Manufacturer's Association, a group of multinational corporations that opposed Washington's GMO initiative. Bob passed legislation requiring all elected leaders in Washington state receive open government training, and developed online training resources that everyone can access. Bob passed legislation increasing the penalty for violating Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act.

Bob is standing up for veterans. Bob’s late father, Murray Ferguson, was a veteran, both his grandfathers were veterans, and many of his uncles served in World War Two. Bob has a great appreciation for the service of our veterans here in Washington state. Since becoming Attorney General, Bob has worked to bolster the resources that the Attorney General offers to veterans; establishing a newsletter, a web-based resources, a Veteran Resource Guide, and created an Office of Military and Veterans Legal Assistance in his office to connect service members, veterans and their families to pro bono legal resources.

Bob is a champion for seniors. Bob partners with AARP to provide fraud fighting tips for seniors across Washington state. Bob strengthened our state laws around financial exploitation of vulnerable adults and identity theft. In recognition for his work on behalf of seniors in Washington state, Bob Ferguson received the AARP 2016 Fraud Fighter of the Year Award and Washington Alliance for Retired Americans’ Education Fund 2017 Senior Champion Award.

Bob is standing up for workers. Bob is holding wage theft violators accountable with both civil and criminal prosecution. He passed legislation to ensure willful wage theft violators don’t receive government taxpayer contracts. When Hanford workers started getting dangerously ill due to exposure to harmful vapors at the Hanford nuclear plant, Bob sued the Department of Energy to force greater protections for those workers. Bob also successfully defended Washington’s minimum wage and paid sick leave initiative against a legal challenge. In recognition for his efforts protecting workers, Bob Ferguson received the Washington State Labor Council Power of the People Award, the SEIU 775 Elected Official of the Year Award, and Metal Trades Honoree of the Year Award.

Bob is combating human trafficking, sexually violent predators, and sexual assault. Bob is the first Attorney General to dedicate prosecutorial resources to the prosecution of human trafficking in Washington. He has passed legislation to protect victims of child sex trafficking. His office is keeping sexually violent predators out of our communities. He recently sought and received a grant to test Washington’s backlog of rape kits, because Bob believes these victims of sexual assault deserve justice.

Bob is an independent leader. Bob puts the public interest above partisan politics. Bob twice sued the Obama Administration over Hanford. He has filed legal challenges against both Democratic and Republican county party organizations. He refuses campaign contributions from large corporations.

Bob has been recognized as a national leader. Bob has received the following awards and honors:

  • Time 100 Most Influential People of 2017
  • Crosscut Courage in Elected Office Award
  • Victory Fund Champion for Equality
  • Council for American-Islamic Relations Ally for Justice Award
  • Washington Alliance for Retired Americans’ Education Fund 2017 Senior Champion Award
  • Democrats for Democracy and Inclusion 2017 Thurgood Marshall Defiant Justice Award
  • Loren Miller Bar Association 2017 Excellence in the Law Award
  • Ceasefire 2017 Ancil Payne Civic Leader of the Year Award
  • University of Washington Center for Human Rights Justice Award
  • Washington State Labor Council Power of the People Award
  • Metal Trades Honoree of the Year, 2016
  • SEIU 775 2017 Elected Official of the Year Award
  • AARP 2016 Fraud Fighter of the Year Award
  • Sound Mental Health Booth Gardner Mental Health Champion 2011