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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Historic Court Victory

Judicial Watch Victory: Historic Court Ruling against Race, Ethnic, LGBT Quotas
Trial Set for High School Coach Fired for Objecting to BLM/Critical Race Theory Curriculum for Daughter’s 7th Grade History Class
Census Bureau will Spend $10 Mil to Study How to Best Add Gender Identity Questions on Surveys


Judicial Watch Victory: Historic Court Ruling against Race, Ethnic, LGBT Quotas

We won a significant victory last week in the California Superior Court when it declared that the state’s racial, ethnic, and LGBT quota for corporate boards of California-based corporations violates the California Constitution.

This week the court released its full opinion. It found that only in “very particular cases should discrimination be remedied by more discrimination.”

The ruling and opinion come in the case (Robin Crest, et al. v. Alex Padilla, in his official capacity as Secretary of State of the State of California (No.20STCV37513)) granting our motion for summary judgment in our lawsuit. We sued on behalf of taxpayers who are asking the court to declare the quota scheme unconstitutional and seeking to enjoin its enforcement.

This historic California court decision declared unconstitutional one of the most blatant and significant attacks in the modern era on constitutional prohibitions against discrimination. In its ruling today, the court upheld the core American value of equal protection under the law. Judicial Watch’s taxpayer clients are heroes for standing up for civil rights against the Left’s pernicious efforts to undo anti-discrimination protections.

We filed this lawsuit on October 2, 2020, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, on behalf of three California taxpayers (Robin Crest, Earl De Vries and Judy DeVries) to prevent California from enforcing Assembly Bill 979 (AB 979). The law requires that boards of directors of California-based, publicly held domestic or foreign corporations satisfy a racial, ethnic, and LGBT quota by the end of the 2021 calendar year.

In his opinion striking down the gender-quota law, Judge Terry A. Green found the law “violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution on its face.” The judge elaborated on why the California Legislature exceeded its authority in mandating the composition of boards:

The difficulty is that the Legislature is thinking in group terms. But the California Constitution protects the right of individuals to equal treatment. Before the Legislature may require that members of one group be given certain board seats, it must first try to create neutral conditions under which qualified individuals from any group may succeed. That attempt was not made in this case. [Emphasis in original]

The court concluded:

The statute treats similarly situated individuals – qualified potential corporate board members – differently based on their membership (or lack thereof) in certain listed racial, sexual orientation, and gender identity groups. It requires that a certain specific number of board seats be reserved for members of the groups on the list – and necessarily excludes members of other groups from those seats.

The Secretary has not identified a compelling interest to justify this classification. The broader public benefits produced by well-run businesses do not fit that bill.

California must treat its citizens equally as individuals under the law, and not give discriminatory, preferential treatment to some based on race, ethnicity or LGBT status. This court ruling marks a watershed in the core American value of equal protection under the law for all Americans. And it warns against the pernicious racialism of the radical Left.

This is not our only action in this area.

We completed a trial in a separate lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of California taxpayers to prevent the state from implementing a 2018 law (SB 826) requiring publicly-held corporations headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth” on their boards by December 31, 2019 (Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla (No.19ST-CV-27561)).

In January 2021, we filed a public comment with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to a proposed rule change requiring race and gender quotas on the boards of corporations listed on the Nasdaq exchange. The proposed rule would require a self-identifying female and a self-identifying member of certain listed racial backgrounds, or an explanation from the company as to why it does not have at least two directors on its board who self-identify as such.


Trial Set for High School Coach Fired for Objecting to BLM/Critical Race Theory Curriculum for Daughter’s 7th Grade History Class

A trial has been set for September 12, 2022, in the federal civil rights lawsuit we filed on behalf of a Massachusetts father fired from his position as high school football coach after raising concerns over Black Lives Matter/critical race theory being taught in his daughter’s seventh-grade ancient history class.

The Court has also set a hearing on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

We sued on behalf of David Flynn, the father of two Dedham Public School students. He was removed from his position as head high school football coach after exercising his right as a parent-citizen to raise concerns about his daughter’s seventh-grade history class curriculum being changed to include biased coursework on politics, race, gender equality, and diversity (Flynn v. Forrest et al. (No. 21-cv-10256)).

The lawsuit details that in September 2020, Flynn’s daughter’s seventh-grade history class, which was listed as “World Geography and Ancient History I,” was taught issues of race, gender, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and politics. The lawsuit explains:

In one assignment, Flynn’s daughter was asked to consider various “risk factors” and “mitigating factors” that two people – one identified as “white” and the other identified as “black” – purportedly might use to assess each other on a city street. Included among the various factors were skin color, gender, age, physical appearance, and attire. “Black,” “aggressive body language” and “wrong neighborhood” were among the “risk factors” purportedly assessed by the person identified as “white.” “White” and “Police officer” were among the “risk factors” purportedly assessed by the person identified as “black.”

Concerned about the abrupt change in curriculum, Flynn and his wife contacted the history teacher and principal of the school – then later Superintendent Michael J. Welch and three members of the Dedham School Committee. On more than one occasion the Flynns asked for assistance in resolving the issues with the curriculum. Ultimately, in October 2020, the Flynns removed their children from school. The Flynns’ list of concerns included:

  • Dedham Public Schools changed the curriculum of the seventh-grade history class without notifying parents or having a course description and syllabus available for parents to review
  • The new seventh-grade history class curriculum containing coursework on politics, race, gender equality, and diversity that were not suitable for twelve- and thirteen-year-olds;
  • The seventh-grade history teacher not teaching topics of politics, race, gender equality, and diversity objectively;
  • The seventh-grade history teacher using a cartoon character of herself wearing a t-shirt supporting a controversial political movement; and
  • The seventh-grade history teacher using class materials that labeled all police officers as risks to all black people and all black males as risks to white people.

In January 2021, Flynn, who had been the head football coach at Dedham High School (DHS) since 2011, was called into a meeting with Welch as well as the DHS principal and athletic director. At the meeting, Welch handed Flynn one of the emails he had written to the Dedham School Committee members and informed him that one of the committee members asked Welch, “What are we going to do about this?” At the end of the meeting Flynn was told that they, “were going in a different direction” with the football program. Minutes later, the superintendent, high school principal, and athletic director released a public statement, stating that Flynn was removed as head football coach because he “expressed significant philosophical differences with the direction, goals, and values of the school district.”

It’s pretty simple. Coach Flynn was fired for exercising his First Amendment rights to object as a citizen and father to extremist racial propaganda in his child’s history class. The federal trial over this abuse can’t come soon enough.

On Monday, the Court will hear arguments about Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. In response to the superintendent’s, high school principal’s, and high school athletic director’s assertion that the case should be dismissed on qualified immunity grounds, we argue:

Defendants have not demonstrated a legitimate reason why Dedham Public Schools’ interests outweighed Flynn’s First Amendment rights.  No case has even come close to suggesting speech outside the confines of the classroom (or football field) could be a disruption to the educational mission of the school district.  Similarly, no case comes close to concluding that parents’ strong views of how a school district handled concerns about their child’s education is not protected speech.

The summary judgment hearing will be via video conference on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 10 a.m. The media and public can register two days in advance to “attend” the virtual conference at https://forms.mad.uscourts.gov/courtlist.html. A video presentation regarding the case is available here.


Census Bureau will Spend $10 Mil to Study How to Best Add Gender Identity Questions on Surveys

The Biden administration’s extremism continues apace, with the Census Bureau joining the rush to accommodate radical transgender activists. Here, from our Corruption Chronicles blog, are the disturbing details:

In a fierce governmentwide effort to provide special accommodations to less than one percent of the American population, key federal agencies are implementing significant—and costly—measures to support residents who identify as transgender. This includes the U.S. Census Bureau spending $10 million to research how to best add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on surveys. The Biden administration calls it “critical research” in a recent announcement issued by the White House on Transgender Day of Visibility. It is essential to invest in the research because the data collected by the Census Bureau will help the federal government “better serve the LGBTQI+ community by providing valuable information on their jobs, educational attainment, home ownership, and more,” the White House statement reads.

The administration took the opportunity on Transgender Day of Visibility to also reveal additional measures that other federal agencies will implement to accommodate transgender people, those whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth. For instance, the State Department will allow all American citizens to select an X as their gender marker on U.S. passport applications. This will deliver on the president’s commitment to expand access to accurate identification documents for transgender and non-binary Americans, according to the announcement. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is strong-arming air carriers to “promote the use and acceptance of the X gender marker to ensure more efficient and accurate passenger processing.” The DHS agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation’s transportation system, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will update its Standard Operating Procedures to remove gender considerations when validating a traveler’s identification at airport security checkpoints. TSA PreCheck and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Programs will also get updated to include X gender markers to “enhance access for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming travelers.”

The Social Security Administration is eliminating a rule requiring transgender people to provide legal or medical documentation of their identity on official records. “This will significantly improve transgender individuals’ experience in accessing their retirement benefits, obtaining health care, and applying for jobs,” the Biden administration claims. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws, will promote greater equity and inclusion for members of the transgender community by providing the option to select an X gender marker during the initial intake process of filing a discrimination charge. The Department of Education will update federal student aid forms to include gender identity when applying for federal financial aid, which the administration asserts will inform the agency about barriers “transgender and non-binary students face in the financial aid process.”

Other government efforts to accommodate this tiny population include programs to support transgender veterans, mental health services for transgender youths and training for school personnel nationwide to support transgender and non-binary students. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the first federal agency to fly a transgender pride flag above its headquarters, will soon reveal its plan to “best serve LGBTQI+ Americans” based on a comprehensive study on “Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation” conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency. HHS is also using another “groundbreaking” taxpayer-funded study on how transgender Americans want to see themselves reflected on federal identifications.

In closing, the White House will roll out the welcome mat for transgender visitors by “implementing updates that will improve the White House campus entry process for transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary visitors.” This will be accomplished by modifying the White House Worker and Visitor Entry System (WAVES) to allow an X gender marker option so transgender, gender nonconforming and non-binary folks “can visit the People’s House in a manner that respects and affirms their gender identity.”

 

Until next week,


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