President Joe Biden's Justice Department takes over where former President Donald Trump left off and challenges a three-year law in Washington urging the federal government to pay workers compensation costs for employees who fell ill after working at a long-dismantled historic nuclear power plant .
In 2018, the Washington State Legislature approved HB 1723, making it easier for workers at the Hanford site to access disease and cancer compensation benefits after working at the 560-square-foot, federally operated site known for producing plutonium. used in one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.
The federal government has since fought against the law, claiming that it is a "discriminatory treatment of the federal government and the companies that employ the federal contract workers" and that it "violates it. Intergovernmental Immunity Principle of Supremacy Clause ”in the Constitution, according to documents in the United States v. State of Washington.
unanimously approved the law and confirmed a 2019 decision in the U.S. District Court in Eastern Washington. d the Ministry of Justice appealed to the Supreme Court and questioned "(w) whether a State Workers' Compensation Act that applies exclusively to federal contract workers performing services at a particular federal facility is hindered by principles of intergovernmental immunity, or is instead authorized by (federal law), which allows the application of government workers' compensation to federal facilities & # 39; in the same manner and to the same extent as if the premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state. & # 39; "
Washington State Attorney Bob Ferguson, who questioned Biden's support for workers with the latest appeal to the country's Supreme Court, issued a statement Tuesday on the latest application:
" The Trump administration sought to tarnish Washington's protection of Hanford workers who getting sick at work … Now the Biden administration continues Donald Trump's fierce effort to eliminate these critical protections for the hard – working men and women of Hanford.