Judicial Watch Files Civil Rights Lawsuit for Daily Caller News Foundation and Reporter against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for Racial Discrimination
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch today filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for violating their First Amendment Rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment (Catenacci et al v. Lightfoot (No. 1:21-cv-02852)).
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
On May 18, 2021, Mayor Lightfoot’s office informed multiple reporters that she would grant one-on-one interviews, “only to Black or Brown journalists.” The next day, the mayor released a letter doubling down on her discriminatory policy. Since that time, the mayor has granted at least one interview request from a self-identified Latino reporter and none to white reporters.
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after Catenacci, a white male, emailed Mayor Lightfoot’s office requesting a one-on-one interview with the mayor. The office never replied to the request or to two additional follow up emails from Catenacci.
The lawsuit alleges Mayor Lightfoot purposefully discriminated against Catenacci, “because of his race by stating that she would only grant interview requests from ‘journalists of color’….”
“Preventing journalists from doing our jobs in such a blatantly discriminatory way is wrong and does a disservice to our readers who come from all backgrounds,” said Daily Caller reporter Thomas Catenacci. “Every journalist and every person who consumes the news should be concerned by Mayor Lightfoot’s actions. This affects everyone. I look forward to holding the mayor accountable.”
“It’s absurd that an elected official believes she discriminate on the basis of race. Mayor Lightfoot’s decision is clearly blocking press freedom through racial discrimination,” Daily Caller News Foundation Editor-in-Chief Ethan Barton said.
“Racial discrimination has no place in America, especially in the halls of government,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Mayor Lightfoot’s admitted policy of race-based discrimination is flagrantly illegal and immoral. Simply put, we’re asking the court to find Mayor Lightfoot’s racist abuse unlawful.”
Christine Svenson of Svenson Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois, is assisting Judicial Watch with the lawsuit.