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House passes bill to add federal district court in Mount Vernon

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2023—The United States House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 786, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Rick Larsen (WA-02), Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Tony Gonzalez (TX-23) that would add Mount Vernon as a court location in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington by voice vote. 

This change would make it easier for Skagit, Snohomish and Island County residents to access federal justice system services and attend court. Currently, the Western District of Washington has courthouses in Seattle and Tacoma and holds hearings in Bellingham and Vancouver.  

Larsen and DelBene, who previously introduced similar legislation in the 117th Congress and 116th Congress, celebrated House passage of the bill.  

“Including Mount Vernon as a court location for the Western District of Washington is great news for residents of Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties who need to access the federal justice system. This will benefit many defendants, attorneys, witnesses and staff who live and work in Northwest Washington,” Larsen and DelBene released in a joint statement. “We urge the Senate to take up this sensible proposal soon.” 

The additional court location is supported by the judges of the Western District of Washington, the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, the Federal Public Defender for Western Washington, the U.S. Marshals Service, federal law enforcement agents who come to court, the Skagit County Bar Association, and the Whatcom County Bar Association. 

H.R. 786 now goes to the Senate for consideration. The bill’s text can be read here

SOURCE: Office of Representative Rick Larsen

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