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DOJ “cover up” has continued for 11 months since filing of original FOIA request in August, 2012

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:13-cv-00949)) on June 21, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) for all records of communications between the DOJ and the LGBT Bar Association (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) relating to the August 23, 2012, LGBT “Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair.” The Conference featured Attorney General Eric Holder as its keynote speaker.

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On August 27, 2012, Judicial Watch had submitted a FOIA request to the DOJ Office of Information Policy (OIP) requesting the following information:

All records concerning, referring to, or relating to the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2012 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair.

By a letter dated September 26, 2012, OIP acknowledged receiving the Judicial Watch FOIA request and on September 26, 2012, responded that the request fell within the “unusual circumstances” of the Act, but failed to provide “a date on which determination is expected to be dispatched,” as required by law. After OIP failed to provide any further communications, Judicial Watch, on March 18, 2013, contacted OIP asking that the records be provided without further delay.

On March 19, 2013, Judicial Watch received a letter from OIP saying that the search of the Office of the Attorney General had completed and that OIP was now reviewing the records that had been located. The letter also stated that because the records contained information of interest to other DOJ offices, OIP could respond only after consulting those offices. No information was provided as to the status of searches for records with other offices.

On March 22, 2013, Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal seeking compliance with the original FOIA request. OIP acknowledged receiving the appeal on the same day and was required to make a determination on the appeal within 20 working days. To date OIP has failed to provide any further information concerning the FOIA request or the subsequent appeal.

On August 23, 2012, in his keynote address at the LGBT Lavender Law Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder congratulated “the tireless work of advocates and attorneys in and far beyond this room” who advanced the LGBT agenda, and called for the passion of its members to continue the “momentum.” Holder also reminded the audience that the Obama DOJ was refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, though at the time, it was still prevailing law of the land.

A month previous to his LGBT Lavender Conference appearance, Holder led a group of DOJ employees in honoring Anoka-Hennepin School District of Minnesota students involved in a lawsuit to force the district to endorse homosexual conduct. Five of the students received an award at DOJ’s annual LGBT Pride Month program in the Great Hall of the Main Justice Building. In March, 2013, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) on behalf of the Family Research Council (FRC) for records regarding their involvement in the Anoka-Hennepin suit.

“The Department of Justice is increasingly home to a bevy of leftist activists pursuing narrow ideological agendas at the expense of the public interest,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And Justice officials want to keep this all a secret – as shown by the fact that we had to file a FOIA lawsuit to get basic information about the Attorney General’s collusion with homosexual activists/government employees.”

It’s not enough that illegal immigrants in the U.S. get driver’s licenses, taxpayer-subsidized college educations and backdoor amnesty from the president, now there’s a nationwide push for the right to practice law.

Only in America! A group called the DREAM Bar Association is lobbying every state in the union to grant law licenses to illegal aliens. The nonprofit got its name from a controversial federal bill called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) that would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the country as kids. The measure also calls on states to provide discounted tuition for illegal immigrants at public colleges and universities.

But the right to practice law in the U.S. has always been a privilege that requires a special license—granted by states—that should not be compromised. After all, attorneys in this country are officers of the legal system and have special responsibility for the quality of justice. Allowing people who have violated the nation’s laws by their very presence in the country seems absurd to say the least.

Never the less, the DREAM Bar Association has picked up steam and support from the powerful open borders movement in its campaign to give illegal aliens law licenses. The Washington D.C. group boasts that it’s the first and only bar association representing “undocumented lawyers.” President Jose Magaña encourages all 50 states to pass legislation and promulgate rules to ensure that graduates of accredited laws schools are able to obtain a license and “fully utilize their legal education.” It’s a fundamental question of fairness, Magaña says.

His group has filed legal briefs in Florida and California, where state courts are considering cases involving illegal immigrants who graduated from law school but can’t obtain a license to practice. Florida’s Supreme Court heard its case last month involving Jose Godinez-Samperio, a Mexican illegal alien who came to the U.S. with his parents on visitors’ visas when he was 9 years old. He graduated from New College in Florida, earned a law degree from Florida State University and passed the state bar exam last year.

The California case centers on a Mexican man, Sergio Garcia, who for years went back and forth between Mexico and California. At 17, the family stayed in California for good and Garcia eventually graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. When California’s Supreme Court heard the case earlier this year, it sought guidance from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which said an illegal immigrant should not be allowed to practice law in the state even though he passed the bar exam.

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