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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Because no one
is above the law!


Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Biden Plays CRT Race Card With Supreme Court

Will Biden Further Politicize the Supreme Court?
Confirmed: Chinese ‘Anal Swab’ COVID Testing of U.S. Personnel
Another Secret Postal Service Program Spies on Citizens by Hacking Cell Phones
Time to End Reverse Discrimination in College Admissions
“Increased Immigration Flows” Cause Record-Breaking Court Backlog

Will Biden Further Politicize the Supreme Court?

Justice Stephen Breyer’s surprise retirement from the Supreme Court seems to have been the result of an unprecedented leftist pressure campaign to force him out before this year’s election. You can be sure these same radical leftists, who also want to pack the Supreme Court, will require Biden to pick a judicial extremist to replace Justice Breyer. Let me be clear: the Left will use this opportunity to further undermine the integrity of the Supreme Court and the rule of law.

Disturbingly, President Biden seems to have confirmed that he will refuse to consider potential nominees simply because of their race and sex. The Senate must not only reject Biden’s invidious discrimination but must also ensure no nominee moves forward who wants to further politicize the Supreme Court by legislating from the bench.

I encourage you to share your views on these issues with your Senators every step of the way over the next few months. You can reach them at 202-224-3121.

Confirmed: Chinese ‘Anal Swab’ COVID Testing of U.S. Personnel

China has reportedly resumed its practice of using anal swabs to test for COVID just two weeks before the Olympics begin.

We’ve been following this issue closely, and through two lawsuits we’ve uncovered the details of our diplomats in China being subjected to this intrusive procedure.

In the latest development, we received 11 pages of records from the State Department revealing that U.S. diplomatic officials in China objected to being asked to submit to anal swab COVID testing by the Chinese government. The redacted documents show that at least one U.S. employee was given an anal swab test for COVID “at his apartment.”

We obtained the records in response to our FOIA lawsuit for non-identifying records of U.S. diplomatic personnel being subjected to invasive COVID-19 anal swab tests by the Chinese government (Judicial Watch v U.S. Dept of State (No. 1:21-cv-02111)). We sued after the State Department failed to respond to a June 18, 2021, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for:

All records about US diplomatic personnel in or seeking to enter China being subjected to anal swab tests for the COVID-19 virus, including all complaints and communications regarding such testing. This request does not seek any personal identifying information of US diplomatic personnel that may have been subjected to such testing.

Here’s what we learned.

On January 22, 2021, a redacted general services officer from the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang sent an email with the subject “New Testing Method?”:

So, a colleague from [redacted] telling our group [redacted] that he was given an anal COVID swab at his apartment. Just a heads up, as I am sure it is going to blow up soon… if you aren’t already dealing with it. Employee’s name is [redacted]. Just getting ahead before the word of mouth starts spreading.

A redacted official responds:

In what city did this occur? And what number test? And did he say if they gave any notice beforehand the test would be conducted in this manner? And was he presented with options.

A redacted official responds:


-He is in his apartment as part of the +7 (from my understanding)

-No notice or options as I can tell

-He had to do both a nose and anal swab

Also on January 22, 2021, a management officer in the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, whose name is redacted, sent an email with the subject “RE: No Anal swabs for diplomats.”

FAO [foreign area office] is telling the Embassy that it was a mistake to ask for anal swabs and that it didn’t apply to diplomats. TBD how [redacted] will play it, but for now we’ll have to tell people they don’t have to do it. Reportedly you do it yourself in private so not as bad as I envisioned.

In a January 26, 2021, email regarding the anal COVID tests, a redacted U.S. official writes:

I hope the GSO [general services office] and VIP Beijing visits can do something about this.

In a January 27, 2021, email labeled with the subject line “COVID TEST 21ST DAY Hedeliza and Efren Balisi,” marked “Importance: High,” a redacted U.S. official writes:

Team – FYI, [redacted] being asked for anal swab and environmental test. Can Housing contact [redacted]. I’ll have VIP contact FAO ASAP.

A redacted official writes on January 27, 2021:

I have asked [redacted] to contact [redacted] immediately regarding the anal swab and environmental testing. He is calling them now.

A redacted official on January 27, 2021, responds:

Please contact the [redacted]. [Redacted] turned off the anal swab, and indicated that we are fine with and oral or nasal swab. He also turned off the inside the apartment environmental testing as I protested both of those items.

On May 5, 2021, a redacted official writes to [email protected] with the subject line “Beijing PCS Arrival and Quarantine Questions:”

Hi. [Redacted] I’m planning to arrive in country in early August. What do we need to be aware of for planning purposes? Are we able to fly into Beijing directly? Someone mentioned that we have to fly into another city. We currently have reservations for Beijing, so we wanted to check before having the tickets issued.

We’ve been hearing a lot of horror stories about the quarantine in China. Unfortunately, the monthly newcomers call [redacted] land the calls aren’t recorded, so we can’t even hear the answers to others questions via a recording of the calls. So I hope you don’t mind us asking our questions to you directly. We’ve had some conversations with the CLO and their office referred us to you for more specifics.

We have been talking with a number of [redacted] in China or those that recently left. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the quarantine upon arrival. We’ve heard about older children being separate from families during the quarantine, anal swab testing and real violations of diplomatic norms. Others have reported they were crammed in rooms with inadequate bedding- i.e. two twin beds for a family of four- and sub-par conditions bordering on detention center level living. It seems like diplomats and their families are not being treated according to acceptable norms. The escalation of the PRC’s violations of diplomatic protections seems particularly concerning….

A redacted official responds:

Please note that Chinese travel, COVID testing, quarantine, and other regulations are tightly controlled by the PRC and there is little flexibility in the process. The U.S. Embassy Beijing and China Desk in Washington have continually been engaged with our Chinese counterparts in all facets of the process. The VIP and Travel teams here at the embassy continually monitor the regulations and provide the best guidance to our travelers possible while supporting a large volume of diplomatic personnel and their families as they navigate the process. I’ve attached our Beijing travel handbook for general reference.

The following talking points are designed to try to address your questions below:

  • We have successfully brought back 140 diplomatic staff and families to Beijing on commercial air travel since October 2020 with many more in the pipeline. Over 1,200 people returned to Mission China after evacuation in 2020 amidst uncertain circumstances. I can’t directly respond to the “horror stories” you are referring to, but would encourage you to take social media posts and information from non-official channels with a grain of salt. We have had many families successfully navigate the testing and quarantine procedures with safe travel to Beijing….


  • The quarantine hotel policies in China are strict and not flexible: under the current regulations, unfortunately, children ages 14 and up will need to quarantine in a separate hotel room for the initial14 days of quarantine in Shanghai. Upon final arrival in Beijing, the goal is for the family to do the 3rd week of quarantine together in your diplomatic residence. If you have medical concerns about this process or have special family needs, I highly encourage you to contact the Beijing Health Unit for guidance and consultation.
  • For children under 14, each child can share a room with a parent in likely a double or queen-sized bed at the [redacted] I am unfamiliar with the twin bed concerns and we have not seen that with the hotels in Shanghai or Beijing.


  • While in quarantine, most travelers don’t have a need to contact the Embassy directly other than to schedule the onward travel from Shanghai. That said, if there is a medical or other emergency, the U.S. Consulate Shanghai is well aware of travelers in quarantine and able to assist should a crisis arise.
  • There are no means for U.S. government or any non-PRC CDC or Customs personnel to have contact with you at the airport or hotel. Until you have completed the testing and quarantine regimen, regrettably there are no means for interpersonal interaction with USG representatives. Both the airport and hotel have successfully brought in thousands of expatriate personnel in the pandemic era and the processes are well known by all parties and relatively smooth.
  • Anal swabs and “environmental testing” inside USG residences are not permitted for diplomatic staff. This acknowledgement of diplomatic rights has been confirmed repeatedly by MFA and FAO. If there is an attempt to conduct such a test, the traveler is fully within their rights to refuse testing and contact the Embassy.

I understand some of these answers may not be what you were hoping for, but I wanted to provide direct, honest guidance based on the PRC policies and situation here. If you have continued concerns, I highly recommend discussing with your gaining office management and/or appropriate personnel in Washington.

Please note that the PRC travel, quarantine, hotel, and testing policies can and do change regularly with no warning and immediate effect. The guidance above is designed to give you an idea of the current landscape, but this is always subject to change as we’ve seen many times before. Please remain in contact with the Beijing VIP team on the latest guidance and we look forward to welcoming you and your family to Beijing in the future.

Here’s some more background:

In December 2021, we received records from the State Department showing at as many as two people were either asked or required to take an anal test for COVID by the Chinese government. One unidentified general services officer wrote:

There’s no good way to ask this, but has any health authority asked you or your spouse to conduct an anal swab test? The embassy obviously does not authorize or permit this type of testing on diplomats, but others have been asked so I need to verify everyone’s experience.


For the record, our agreement is for nasal and/or throat swabs only. If you are asked to undergo either of the above or any other that seems inappropriate, please refuse and contact us immediately. We will escalate to [China’s] MFA/FAO [foreign area officer] and go from there.

On January 27, a State Department official sends an email with the subject line “COVID TEST 21ST DAY”:

At this point, if they will insist [upon] the anal test, we would like to just go back to the States.

Another comment in the email chain reads:

Team – FYI. [Redacted] being asked for anal swab and environmental test. Can Housing contact [redacted]? I’ll have VIP contact FAO ASAP.

These latest documents confirm the abuse of U.S. diplomatic personnel by the Chinese government. The Biden administration doesn’t seem to have done much about this abusive anal swab testing and other abuses other than pretend it didn’t happen and cover it up.

Another Secret Postal Service Program Spies on Citizens by Hacking Cell Phones

Your postal “service” is out of control. Why on earth would this agency, which, by the way, loses billions of dollars each year, be hacking cell phones? This is a serious constitutional issue. Our Corruption Chronicles blog explains.

Months after Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for information about a secret program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, more of the agency’s controversial spy mechanisms are being exposed. The newly uncovered tools are sophisticated hacking devices that can breach cell phones and the USPS’s law enforcement arm, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), has utilized them hundreds of times in the last few years, according to a news story that cites USPIS data buried in a lengthy agency report. The questionable surveillance schemes appear to indicate that the government is weaponizing the nation’s postal service to improperly spy on the citizens who fund it.

The social media surveillance program was uncovered early last year by an online news outlet that revealed the USPS has been quietly tracking and collecting the social media posts of Americans, including notes about planned protests. It is known as Internet Covert Operations Program (ICOP). Analysts dig through social media sites searching for “inflammatory” postings, which are shared across government agencies. Civil liberties experts quoted in the story questioned the legal authority of the USPS to monitor social media activity and one asked a logical question: Why would the government depend on the postal service to examine the internet for security reasons? “If the individuals they’re monitoring are carrying out or planning criminal activity that should be the purview of the FBI,” said one civil liberties authority in the piece, adding “if they’re simply engaging in lawfully protected speech, even if it’s odious or objectionable, then monitoring them on that basis raises serious constitutional concerns.”

Judicial Watch quickly launched an investigation, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the USPS for information relating to ICOP. As the government often does with FOIA requests, it failed to meet the federally mandated deadline for providing the records and Judicial Watch was forced to file a lawsuit in early July. Among the things Judicial Watch asks for in the federal complaint are all records from January 1, 2020, to the present identifying criteria for flagging social media posts as “inflammatory” or otherwise worthy of further scrutiny by other government agencies. It also asks for records relating to ICOP’s database of social media posts, communications between USPIS and FBI or Homeland Security regarding the program and an analysis outlining the authority of the USPIS to monitor, track and collect Americans’ social media posts. Judicial Watch will provide updates as the case evolves.

In the meantime, Judicial Watch is filing a FOIA request with the USPS for information on the devices used by the agency to hack cell phones. The news agency that exposed the alarming operation this week discovered its existence in the USPIS’s 2019 and 2020 annual reports. “Altogether, the records suggest that the USPIS has cracked hundreds of iPhones—generally thought to be one of the most secure commercial phones on the market—as well as other devices,” the article states. The hacking tools are known as Cellebrite and GrayKey and they were used by the agency to extract previously unattainable information from seized mobile devices. In fiscal year 2020, 331 devices were processed and 242 were unlocked and/or extracted, according to information obtained from the USPIS reports. The 2020 document discloses an increase in phone cracking from the previous year.

These clandestine operations within the nation’s postal service should create concern, especially for a troubled agency that has failed miserably to fulfill its mission. The USPS has long been a bastion of mismanagement and frivolous spending that has fleeced American taxpayers out of billions in the last few years alone. In 2021, the USPS reported a net loss of $4.9 billion and in 2020 a net loss of $9.2 billion. One federal audit slammed the USPS for blowing the opportunity to save nearly $22 million had it bothered to maintain its fleet of vehicles more efficiently. A few years before that the USPS blew hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional sports tickets, booze and fancy meals while it claimed to be crippled by an $8.3 billion deficit. The items were purchased by USPS managers and employees with special charge cards issued to U.S. government agencies. The USPS’s top executives have also been found to receive illegally high salary and compensation packages that should outrage the public. Several years ago, a federal audit found that at least three USPS officers made more than the legal compensation limit for their respective work category while the agency was billions in the red.

Time to End Reverse Discrimination in College Admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear challenges to race-based admissions practices at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, which we applaud.

It is time, once and for all, for the Supreme Court to put an end to court-sanctioned racial discrimination in college admissions, both in public and private schools. The Supreme Court should recognize that its own past decisions legitimizing racial discrimination in school admissions were wrongly decided and should reverse them. Discrimination on the basis of race is becoming pandemic in all areas of society and must be curtailed as the Constitution requires. The Supreme Court needs to stop this pernicious and building racialism.

In April 2021, we and Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) filed an amici curiae brief in support of Students for Fair Admissions’ petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upholding Harvard College’s race-based affirmative action admissions program (Students for Fair Admission v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (No. 20-1199)).

Just last month, we filed an amici curiae brief along with AEF in a companion case, in support of SFA’s petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court challenging a decision of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which upheld the race-based admissions program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) (Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina, et al. (No. 21-707)). The amici brief asked the court to no longer allow “universities to defend race-based admissions programs by relying upon schools’ purported educational needs for increased diversity.”

The Supreme Court has now agreed to review both decisions.

Students for Fair Admissions argues that “the University’s [UNC’s] use of race in its undergraduate admissions process violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” SFA concludes that, “UNC’s admissions process incorporated impermissible racial considerations violating the Equal Protection Clause.”

We and AEF argue in our UNC amici brief that “race-based admissions criteria are antithetical to the 14th Amendment and fundamentally at odds with the Equal Protection Clause.” In general, our amici brief argues, “Prior Equal Protection rulings upholding racial classifications have not stood the test of time”:

Rulings by this Court allowing individuals to be treated differently based on race under the Equal Protection Clause have been wrongfully decided. Amici respectfully submit that three such cases account for some of the most famous missteps in this Court’s jurisprudence. These rulings show the troubling outcomes that spring from judicially created exceptions to the Equal Protection Clause’s strict prohibition against racial classifications.

To remedy this constitutional failing, we called on the court to make a clean sweep of past decisions permitting racial discrimination in college admission programs:

Race-based admissions programs for higher education have been the subject of this Court’s attention in five major cases [and in 26 separate opinions] in the last 43 years … These rulings have generated numerous opinions, pluralities, concurrences, and dissents, many of which conflict in fundamental and significant ways. These decisions achieved little consensus regarding whether race-based admissions programs can be implemented without violating equal protection principles and have not provided a workable construct for the lower courts and school officials in reviewing and implementing race-based admissions programs …


This Court should grant Petitioner’s writ of certiorari to reconsider whether race-based admissions programs should ever be permitted – and not simply to try (again) to adjust the strict scrutiny standard in a way that permits such programs.

These cases could be a historic turning point in the decades-long battle to stop illegal discrimination under the guise of “affirmative action” or “diversity.”

I’ll keep you posted.

The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation that has partnered frequently with us to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.

“Increased Immigration Flows” Cause Record-Breaking Court Backlog

The Biden border crisis is breaking our legal system. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the details in this report on the breakdown of the immigration court system.

The Biden administration’s controversial open border policies are slamming the overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Court system, creating the largest backlog of cases in history. A new report issued by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that the backlog is “growing faster than ever, burying judges in an avalanche of cases.” At the end of December pending cases reached a shocking 1,596,193, according to government figures obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). To put things in perspective, researchers point out that if every person with a pending immigration case gathered, it would surpass the population of Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth-largest city. Migrants with open cases will wait nearly five years for a court decision determining their status in the U.S.

While the system has seen backlogs under past administrations of both political parties, it has never experienced anything this dire. In fact, the TRAC report states that “a disturbing new trend has emerged during the Biden administration that demands attention: since the start of the Biden administration, the growth of the backlog has been accelerating at a breakneck pace.” For instance, at the start of the George W. Bush administration, the backlog stood at 149,338 and it grew “substantially” under Barack Obama. The problem “only accelerated” under Donald Trump but nothing compares to Biden. In recent months the rate of backlogs in the nation’s Immigration Court system has “exploded,” the TRAC report states, supporting the assessment with government data. Between October and December 2021, the quarterly growth in the number of pending Immigration Court cases shattered records.

In that short period, the backlog increased by nearly 140,000 cases, the government records obtained by TRAC show. “Even during the most dramatic growth in pending cases during the Trump administration, the largest 3-month increase in the backlog only once approached 100,000 in the June-August 2019 period,” the report says. The backlog fluctuated up and down in the following year until it skyrocketed in the last few months of 2021 under Biden. Researchers call it a “dramatic acceleration in the growth of the backlog.” The alarming government figures suggest that Immigration Courts “are entering a worrying new era of even more crushing caseloads— all the more concerning since no attempt at a solution has yet been able to reverse the avalanche of cases that Immigration Judges now face,” the TRAC report states.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in the crisis because it caused a partial court shutdown, but researchers found that the key problem is the “recent deluge of new cases filed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).” Immigration enforcement has been limited dramatically under the Biden administration, which has also issued a policy to allow more new immigrants into the U.S., thus the unprecedented and expanding backlog. The dramatic increase in court cases began around June and will inevitably get worse if the administration does not make changes. “If the current pace during the first quarter of FY 2022 of newly arriving Notices to Appear (NTAs) continues, the Court will receive 800,000 new cases – at least 300,000 more than the annual total the Court has ever received during its existence,” TRAC estimates.

The U.S. Immigration Court system operates under the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which functions under the attorney general. There are 60 immigration courts throughout the nation and around 580 judges that conduct removal hearings or determine if a migrant can remain in the U.S. In its 2022 budget submission to Congress, the DOJ requests $891,190,000 for the EOIR. In the document, the agency lists “increased immigration flows,” particularly family units, unaccompanied alien children and putative asylum seekers from Central America, among the EOIR’s biggest external challenges.

Until next week …