Judicial Watch: Delaware Supreme Court Argument Set for University of Delaware Case on Biden Senate Records Secrecy
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday before Supreme Court of Delaware in its state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, which was also filed on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation, for access to records about President Joe Biden’s Senate records held by the University of Delaware. Biden’s papers include more than 1,850 boxes of archival records from his senate career. The University is withholding the alleged agreement with President Biden to keep them secret as well as communications between the University and representatives of the President about keeping them secret.
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Time: 10:00 am ET
Location: Delaware Supreme Court Building
55 The Green
Dover, Delaware 19901
The Daily Caller and Judicial Watch filed requests on April 30, 2020, for all of Biden’s records and for records about the preservation and any proposed release of the records, including communications with Mr. Biden or his representatives.
Judicial Watch’s appeal challenges a Superior Court of Delaware’s January 4, 2021, ruling upholding the Delaware state attorney general’s opinion that the records are not “public records” because, the opinion concludes without evidence, no public funds are used to support the Biden records project at the University of Delaware.
Judicial Watch argues that it is impossible for the housing of Biden’s senatorial records in the University of Delaware’s Library to not be supported by or have an effect on any public funds. Judicial Watch notes that the University admitted that “[t]he State of Delaware provides the University with approximately $120 million each year through an appropriation in the state budget,” but has yet to show how any of these funds are not used to support the papers.
Judicial Watch also points out that “archival storage space and professional staff members’ time are things of value that it can be inferred are paid for with public funds,” and notes that the requests even listed the “University personnel who maintain the Senatorial Papers whose salaries, it can be inferred, are paid with State funds.”
“The University of Delaware’s argument that a public university housing public records is not subject to public disclosure requirements would be comical if all this weren’t so serious. We are hopeful that the court will not allow this attempt to hide President Biden’s rightfully public information to stand,” said Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel.
“It is more than a little bit curious that President Biden refuses to make not one page of his Senate records available to the American public,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Delaware law requires state entities, including the University of Delaware, to provide public access to these records.”
Judicial Watch filed the July 2020 FOIA lawsuit after the University denied its April 30, 2020, request for:
- All records regarding the proposed release of the records pertaining to former Vice President Joe Biden’s tenure as a Senator that have been housed at the University of Delaware Library since 2012. This request includes all related records of communication between the University of Delaware and any other records created pertaining to any meeting of the Board of Trustees during which the proposed release of the records was discussed.
- All records of communication between any representative of the University of Delaware and former Vice President Biden or any other individual acting on his behalf between January 1, 2018 and the present.
Also on April 30, the Daily Caller News Foundation submitted its FOIA request to the University for:
- All agreements concerning the storage of more than 1,850 boxes of archival records and 415 gigabytes of electronic records from Joe Biden’s senate career from 1973 through 2009.
- Communications between the staff of the University of Delaware Library and Joe Biden or his senatorial, vice-presidential or political campaign staff, or for anyone representing any of those entities between January 1, 2010, and April 30, 2020, about Joe Biden’s senate records.
- Any logs or sign-in sheets recording any individuals who have visited the special-collections department where records from Joe Biden’s senate career are stored between 2010 to the date of this request.
- All records from Joe Biden’s Senate career that have been submitted to the University of Delaware Library.
Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation are being represented by Delaware lawyers Ted Kittila and Bill Green of Halloran Farkas + Kittila LLP.