|Judicial Watch Sues DOJ for Answers About its Challenge to Georgia’s Voter Integrity Bill
For years we have reported on Democrats blocking efforts to make elections honest. Not surprisingly, the problem continues under Joe Biden.
The latest battlefield is Georgia. We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communications between the DOJ and various left-wing groups and individuals concerning the DOJ’s decision to challenge Georgia’s election integrity law (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:21-cv-02427)).
We filed the lawsuit on September 15, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, after the DOJ failed to respond to a July 26, 2021, FOIA request to the Justice Department’s Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division for the following records:
- All documents and communications between (1) the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, or any of their officers, employees, members, agents, or affiliates, and (2) any of the following people and organizations, including any of their officers, members, agents, parent organizations, affiliated entities, branches, subordinate organizations, or chapters, concerning the U.S. Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Act Section 2 lawsuit against the State of Georgia, et al., in the Northern District of Georgia, Civ. No. 21-2575:
ACLU Foundation of Georgia, American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, Brennan Center for Justice, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Common Cause, NAACP, Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, Campaign Legal Center, Fair Fight, Fair Fight Action, Stacy Abrams, Perkins Coie LLP, Marc Elias.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging Georgia’s election law asks the court to strike down major parts of the act, including strengthened voter ID requirements for voting by mail.
The leftists who control the Justice Department have a long record of working hand in glove with extremist and partisan interest groups who oppose any efforts to make it harder to steal votes and elections.
A week after the DOJ filed its lawsuit against Georgia, on July 1 of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld two Arizona voting provisions that Democrats and civil rights groups had challenged as disproportionately burdening minority voters. We and the Allied Educational Foundation filed amici curiae (friends of the court) briefs in support of Arizona’s law. The court’s decision is what I called a knockout blow to the Left’s tsunami of harassing lawsuits challenging virtually any effort by any state to modestly increase the security of elections and minimize the impact of voter fraud.
In response to the Supreme Court ruling, the Left appears to have become desperate to short circuit the efforts of states to implement security measures such as voter ID.
We remain front and center in the fight for clean elections, from our historic election integrity victory in L.A. County, to the current election-related lawsuits in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Attorney Robert Popper is the director of our clean elections initiative.
In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a voter-roll cleanup program that resulted from our settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio. Kentucky began cleaning up hundreds of thousands of old registrations in 2019 after it too entered a consent decree in 2018 to end another of our lawsuits.
Based on this research, in 2020, a federal court ordered the State of Maryland to produce complete voter registration records for Montgomery County that include the registered voters’ dates of birth.
In September 2020, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Illinois Conservative Union (ICU) and three of its officers, after Illinois state officials refused to allow them to obtain a copy of the state’s voter registration database. In June 2021, a federal court ruled the lawsuit could proceed.
After years of litigation, it is hard not to conclude that the Democrats can’t win the game and so must change the rules.
HHS Documents Reveal Sexual and Physical Abuse of Unaccompanied Minors
The Biden border crisis is as heartbreaking as it is horrible.
We received 41 pages of documents from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement that list 33 separate incidences of alleged sexual abuse in just one month.
The records include a spreadsheet of data that lists 33 “sexual abuse allegations” involving “unaccompanied children” (UAC) for the time period of January 21, 2021, to February 26, 2021. These incidents seemed to be tied to “voluntary agencies” (VOLAGs), which are contractors for the federal government. Ten of the allegations of sexual abuse were made against staff and “non-staff” members. Twenty-one incidents of children sexually assaulting other children while in government contracted care facilities were reported. See the data for yourself:
No. | Event ID | SA Type of Incident | SA Type of Allegation | Program Name
1 290249 Sexual Abuse Staff and UAC Friends of Youth McEachern
2 290519 Sexual Abuse Staff and UAC BCFS San Antonio Staff Secure
3 290969 Sexual Abuse UAC and Other Bethany Christian Services TFC Michigan
4 291649 Sexual Abuse UAC and UAC Lincoln Hall Boys Haven
5 292060 Sexual Abuse Staff and UAC Mercy First RTC
6 292284 Sexual Abuse UAC and UAC Abbott House TFC
7 292365 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UAC Bethany LIRS
8 294303 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UAC Cayuga Centers
9 294669 Sexual Abuse UAC and UAC Sunny Glen Childrens Home New Day Resiliency Center
10 295225 Sexual Abuse UAC and UAC Sunny Glen Childrens Home New Day Resiliency Center
11 296007 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Southwest Key Casa Padre
12 296169 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Sunny Glen Childrens Home New Day Resiliency Center
13 296641 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Southwest Key Casa Padre
14 296810 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Southwest Key El Presidente
15 297632 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Southwest Key Casa Padre
16 298189 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Heartland Inti Childrens RC
17 298428 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Leake and Watts
18 298597 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Sunny Glen Childrens Home New Day Resiliency Center
19 298743 Sexual Abuse UC and UC CHS Stanford House
20 298928 Sexual Abuse UC and UC His House
21 299067 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Children First Residential Care TX Sunnyside
22 299640 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UC Southwest Key Rio Grande
23 299761 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Mercy First RTC
24 300102 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Friends of Youth Colin Ferguson
25 300290 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Sunny Glen Childrens Home New Day Resiliency Center
26 300467 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UC Southwest Key El Presidente
27 300532 Sexual Abuse UC and UC BCFS Raymondville
28 300650 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Southwest Key Cas a Houston
29 300706 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UC Southwest Key Casa Padre
30 300804 Sexual Abuse UC and UC Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie- Nuevas Alas Program
31 300848 Sexual Abuse UC and Other SWK Processing Center
32 301043 Sexual Abuse Non-Staff Adult and UC Southwest Key Antigua
33 301253 Sexual Abuse Staff and UC Cayuga Centers L TFC
No details were provided as to who the alleged attackers or victims were other than that they were UACs. Additionally, no incident reports were provided by HHS.
On February 22, 2021, at the BCFS (Baptist Children and Family Services) shelter in Baytown, Texas, a UAC reported that another UAC, a 17-year-old boy from Guatemala, had been punched with a closed fist in his ribcage by his roommate while the victim was lying down. The victim of the alleged attack did not want to discuss it with shelter officials. The report notes “Minor was moved to another room to ensure other minor’s safety.” The follow up questions in the report: “Was the incident investigated?”; was it “Reported to CPS?”; and was it “Reported to Local Law Enforcement?” were all answered “No.”
On April 7, 2021, Fox News reported: “Gov. Greg Abbott demanded that the White House close a San Antonio facility housing migrant children Wednesday following allegations that children there were being sexually assaulted.” Additionally, “The governor said that separate complaints were sent to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Wednesday, alleging four different kinds of child abuse.”
And it was recently confirmed that the Biden administration just this year alone “lost contact with thousands” of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children who had been released from federal custody.
We forced the release of the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against Health and Human Services for:
All summaries from individual case files of reports of physical and/or sexual abuse or assault of Unaccompanied Alien Children under the care of HHS, its sub-agencies, and or VOLAGs [voluntary agency], contractors, grantees, and sub-grantees, to include all segregable, non-exempt information.
Records reflecting aggregated data of physical and/or sexual abuse and assault of UACs under the care of HHS, its sub-agencies, and or VOLAGs, contractors, grantees, and sub-grantees.
These documents show that not only are there shocking reports of sexual abuse occurring in shelters for unaccompanied children, but that there is violence amongst the UACs themselves. It is no surprise that the Biden administration’s enabling of human trafficking has resulted in violence and the abuse of children.
Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Details of Biden’s COVID-19 Community Corps
This spring, the Biden Administration announced that HHS was going to launch “a nationwide, grassroots network of local voices and trusted community leaders to encourage vaccinations, with more than 275 founding member organizations that have the ability to reach millions of Americans.” We want to know the details.
We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services seeking all records related to the so-called COVID-19 Community Corps (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02315)).
We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after HHS failed to reply to an April 19, 2021, FOIA request for:
- All records regarding the Department of Health and Human Services’ “COVID-19 Community Corps” program, which was announced by the department on April 1, 2021. This request includes the following:
- All records depicting the application process and selection criteria for organizations participating in the program.
- All records related to the consideration of any organization considered for participation in the program that were not selected.
- All records concerning any awarded or proposed related grants or contracts with any organization participating in the program.
- All related records of communication between any representative of the Department of Health and Human Services and any representative of any organization participating in the program.
The HHS website describes the COVID-19 Community Corps as “an initiative to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and reinforce basic prevention measures.” The government program also seeks to enlist minors (16 and older). The site reports “over 4,000 organizations and almost 10,000 individuals across the United States have joined the COVID-19 Community Corps. They’ve committed to take action to encourage their families, friends, and members of their communities to get vaccinated for COVID-19.”
The federal government organizing a ‘corps’ of private individuals, minors, corporations, and unions to push controversial COVID policies is concerning. Also concerning is the Biden administration’s unlawful refusal to turn over records about this program to the American people.
Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Biodistribution Studies of the COVID Vaccines
The Biden Administration isn’t eager to reveal some of the details of how the vaccines were tested before they were distributed. One type of testing, biodistribution, studies how a vaccine moves through the body.
We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for biodistribution studies and related data for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-02418)).
We sued after the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease failed to respond to a June 8, 2021, FOIA request for:
[A]ccess to biodistribution studies and related data for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines used to treat and/or prevent SARS-CoV-2 and/or COVID-19.
Similarly, HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) failed to respond to the same request sent on July 15, 2021, after the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease advised us that BARDA “would be the appropriate federal agency to submit a request,” to obtain the records if they existed.
The Biden administration should follow the law and release any biodistribution studies concerning the vaccines. Americans have a right to know as much as possible about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
California Judge Heard Arguments on Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards
This week, Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis of the California Superior Court heard arguments in our case challenging California’s gender quotas for corporate boards.
We filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on August 6, 2019, on behalf of three California taxpayers, Robin Crest, Earl De Vries and Judy De Vries. The 2018 law, known as Senate Bill 826 (SB 826), requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law also requires corporations to have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board (Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla (No.19STCV27561)).
The lawsuit alleges that the quota violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, among other provisions, and asks the court to order that no taxpayer funds be spent on the illegal provision. Both sides have asked the court to enter judgment in their favor. The hearing was to address those requests.
In July 2020, the court cleared the way for the lawsuit to proceed, holding that our clients had standing under state law to sue.
We argue in our court filings:
SB 826 requires that subject corporations set aside a certain number of board seats for women or create new seats for which only women may apply…. SB 826 imposes the additional requirement that one or more seats be set aside or created for women. The only criterion for occupying these seats is being female. Men are excluded from the seats no matter how well-qualified they might be …
We included expert analysis from Jonathan Klick, Ph.D., J.D., an expert in econometrics, statistics, and corporate law, who concludes:
In my opinion, the evidence offered in [the] declarations supporting Secretary Padilla’s motion for each of these points (underrepresentation of women on boards, discrimination as the cause of this underrepresentation, and that research shows a differential benefit of appointing women, as opposed to men, in terms of firm performance) is deficient and unreliable.
California politicians want to use SB826 to upend decades of settled constitutional law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. We hope this lawsuit vindicates the rule of law and the commonsense principle that the way to end any discrimination based on sex is to stop discriminating on the basis of the sex.
Until next week …