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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

New Poll and Stealing Democracy

New Judicial Watch-Harris Interactive Poll Sends Warning to Washington Politicians

On Thursday, Judicial Watch released the results of a new nationwide survey of registered voters conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive. It concerns the American people’s attitudes on a variety of subjects, including government corruption, Obamacare, congressional insider trading, transparency, illegal immigration, and the Republican primary campaign. This is something we do on an annual basis and every year we get some very interesting results. This year was no different.

Here are some quick takeaways: Registered voters consider corruption to be a major problem, support illegal alien law enforcement, and believe President Obama has failed to keep his campaign promise to make government more transparent to the American people. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has significant national Republican support, nearly doubling the total of his closest rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Registered voters are evenly split on whether the Supreme Court should uphold Obamacare.

The Judicial Watch survey was conducted by Harris Interactive January 12-15, 2012. (Full survey results, including crosstabs, are available here.) The following are the highlights:

  • REPUBLICAN NOMINATION: Republican and Republican leaning registered voters favor Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (32%) over the rest of the Republican field by double digits. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finishes second (17%). Ron Paul earns 14% support, with Rick Santorum garnering 10%.
  • GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION: The vast majority of registered voters (88%) believe corruption is a significant problem in Washington. More registered voters (45%) believe one of the Republican candidates would be more effective than Obama (34%) in addressing political corruption, with Ron Paul seen as the Republican best able to combat government corruption.

    When asked generally which party was trusted more to combat government corruption, Republicans fared poorly in the poll. Only 30% thought Republicans could be trusted more versus 37% trusting Democrats more. A large number (33%) said neither/not sure.

  • TRANSPARENCY: The vast majority of registered voters (69%) believe President Obama has either worsened (27%) or not improved (42%) government transparency as he promised during the 2008 presidential campaign. Only slightly more than half of registered Democrats believe Obama has improved transparency.
  • ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The majority of registered voters (53%) want more emphasis on law enforcement when addressing illegal immigration while only a small percentage (9%) want less. Meanwhile, three out of four registered voters (74%), including a majority of Hispanics (57%), believe local law enforcement officers should help enforce illegal immigration laws. A majority of registered voters (64%) disagree with illegal alien sanctuary policies, including a slight majority of Hispanics (51%). Poll respondents are evenly split on the President’s illegal immigration policies, with 42% disagreeing and 40% agreeing with the administration’s approach. (56% of Hispanic’s support the President’s policies).
  • OBAMACARE: Registered voters are nearly evenly split on whether or not Obamacare is constitutional and should be upheld by the Supreme Court. 44% think the law is constitutional and 43% think the law is unconstitutional, though self-identified independent voters think the law is unconstitutional by a margin of 47%-40%. In response to a question about the ongoing debate about whether Justice Elena Kagan should participate in the Supreme Court’s review of Obamacare, 37% (including one in four Democrats) oppose her participation and 34% support her participation. A significant number (28%) don’t know whether she should participate.
  • CONGRESSIONAL INSIDER TRADING: The vast majority of Americans (86%) believe insider trading laws should be enforced against members of Congress.

Let the results of this poll be a lesson for all politicians. Voters want to clean up corruption in Washington. The survey also represents a clear warning for Barack Obama who has fallen short on his campaign promise to make government more open and transparent in the minds of the majority of voters.

And Republicans should be worried that few Americans trust them to combat government corruption. While the public is evenly split on key issues such as Obamacare, they remain unified in support for more and better law enforcement in the area of illegal immigration.

I would expect in the coming months that both parties, recognizing the importance of corruption as a political issue, will pay lip service to the crisis. But what matters is what happens after the elections are over. Unfortunately, there is a mile wide gap between campaign rhetoric on corruption and the on-the-ground reality inside the halls of Congress and the White House.

I thought it interesting that the first official commercial of the Obama campaign highlights the President’s supposed ethics record. Without getting into a debate about the accuracy of the ad, this shows that at least the Obama campaign has the instinct to highlight the issue of government corruption as important to the American people.

(A note on the survey’s methodology: This study was conducted January 12-15, 2012, by Harris Interactive via telephone landline and cell phone on behalf of Judicial Watch. The survey was conducted among a nationwide cross-section of 871 Registered Voters; 686 interviews were from the landline sample and 185 interviews from the cell phone sample. The sampling error is +/-3.5 percent.)

JW Exposes White House/Department of Justice Working Relationship with ACORN Group Implicated in Massive Voter Registration Fraud

With the 2012 elections just months away, the ACORN-connected group Project Vote (and Obama campaign ally) is redoubling its efforts to undermine the integrity of the 2012 elections – and they are evidently doing it with the participation of the Obama White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In January, Judicial Watch obtained additional documents about meetings held between Estelle Rogers, Director of Advocacy for the ACORN organization Project Vote, and officials from the Obama White House and the DOJ.

Judicial Watch is investigating the extent to which Project Vote, which once employed Barack Obama, has been working with the Obama administration to use voter registration laws to register greater numbers of low-income voters, widely considered to be an important voting demographic for the Obama presidential campaign.

Judicial Watch was already well aware that the DOJ was heavily involved in this scheme based on documents previously obtained, but the latest batch of records implicates the Obama White House directly!

According to the records, obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on August 19, 2011:

  • On April 27, 2009, Estelle Rogers wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsh regarding an upcoming meeting on April 30, 2009. In addition to Rogers and Hirsh, other attendees included: Nicole Kovite, Director of Public Agency Project for Project Vote; Spencer Overton, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy; and two officials from the Obama White House: Celia Muñoz, then-Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and recently promoted to Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Tino Cuellar, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy. (Muñoz, you will recall, is the former senior vice-president of the National Council of La Raza who has been funneling tax dollars to radical Mexican separatists ever since she joined the Obama White House.)

    In her email, Rogers referenced documents she forwarded in preparation for the upcoming meeting on the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), to which Hirsch replies that he looked forward to “reading these materials” and to “seeing everyone on Thursday.”

  • On February 23, 2011, Rogers wrote to Associate Deputy Attorney General Robert Weiner, asking him to “make some headway with Attorney General [Eric] Holder in enforcing Section 7 of the NVRA.” The email notes that the DOJ had not yet filed any Section 7 lawsuits, which Rogers dubbed “deeply disappointing.” The first such DOJ lawsuit (against Rhode Island) was filed on March 18, 2011, less than one month later. Of particular note, is Rogers’ comment that “We have received oral assurances from [Assistant Attorney General Thomas] Perez on several occasions that enforcement action was imminent,” suggesting that Rogers was privy to internal discussions inside the DOJ regarding pending legal action.
  • On March 29, 2011, Rogers wrote to Associate Attorney General [Thomas] Perrelli, urging him to review and “make improvements” to a document she was sending following another meeting held on March 17, 2011, between Project Vote and the DOJ on Section 7 compliance with the NRVA. Accompanying the document was a previous letter she had sent to the Civil Rights Division plus “additional comments on the Q and A.”

These documents raise fundamental questions about the politicization of the DOJ under Eric Holder and demonstrate that the ACORN-connected Project Vote is throwing its weight around the DOJ and driving the agency’s voting rights agenda.

And, evidently the Obama White House is now directly implicated in this growing scandal. It is now clear that Project Vote and the Obama/Holder DOJ are conspiring to file DOJ lawsuits to help re-elect Barack Obama. This collusion between Project Vote and the Obama administration is a significant threat to the integrity of the 2012 elections.

To have Project Vote involved in DOJ voting rights enforcement is like having the Mafia run the FBI! And Estelle Rogers is one of Project Vote’s key “bosses.”

As Director of Advocacy for Project Vote, Estelle Rogers ‒ a former attorney for ACORN, which was besieged with charges of corruption before declaring bankruptcy in November 2010 ‒ is a primary contact person on policy matters at Project Vote at both the state and federal levels and has been actively involved in voter registration issues. Using the threat of a lawsuit under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), Project Vote has aggressively sought to manipulate voter registration laws in various states in an effort to increase the registration of people receiving public assistance.

On August 4, 2011, Judicial Watch released documents obtained from the Colorado Department of State showing that ACORN and Project Vote successfully pressured Colorado officials into implementing new policies for increasing the registration of public assistance recipients during the 2008 and 2010 election seasons. Following the policy changes, the percentage of invalid voter registration forms from Colorado public assistance agencies was four times the national average. Project Vote also sought a “legislative fix” to allow people without a driver’s license or state identification to register to vote online.

In addition to pursuing public agency registration cases in Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and New Mexico, Project Vote and the NAACP filed a lawsuit on April 19, 2011, against the State of Louisiana alleging violations of the NVRA. Less than three months later, on July 12, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division/Voting Section sued Louisiana on the same grounds, claiming that “Louisiana officials have not routinely offered voter registration forms, assistance and services to the state’s eligible citizens who apply, recertify or provide a change address for public assistance or disability services.”

The DOJ’s March 11, 2011, lawsuit against Rhode Island led to policy changes intended to increase the number of voter registration applications processed by “public assistance and disability service officers.” These two lawsuits, filed within five months of each other, are the first such lawsuits filed by the DOJ since 2007.

Project Vote and ACORN have both been linked to massive voter registration fraud. A total of 70 ACORN employees in 12 states have been convicted of voter registration fraud. And as documented in a July 2009 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of the 1.3 million registrations Project Vote/ACORN submitted in the 2008 election cycle, more than one-third were invalid. (And don’t believe the line that ACORN is dead. As we documented in our special report “The Rebranding of ACORN,” the corrupt organization is alive and well and ready to wreak havoc in the 2012 elections.)

A storm is fast approaching in 2012. The integrity of our elections is under attack by ACORN and Project Vote. And it now appears that the Obama administration is complicit in a plot by these community organizations to steal the elections. Trust Judicial Watch to do what it can to uphold the rule of law against this very real challenge to our election system.

JW Files Amicus Curiae Brief with Supreme Court Challenging U.S. Census Policy of Counting Illegal Aliens When Apportioning Seats in Congress

This next topic goes beyond the integrity of elections – it goes to the integrity of our entire system of government. Are you aware that the U.S. Census Bureau counts illegal aliens when determining how many seats in Congress a state should receive? That means states with large illegal alien populations are now receiving a disproportionate amount of seats in Congress and therefore more power in establishing national policy.

Judicial Watch is now involved in a high-stakes legal campaign to put a stop to this unconstitutional policy.

Last Friday, we filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Louisiana challenging the current federal policy in which “unlawfully present aliens” were counted in the 2010 Census (Louisiana v. Bryson).

The government used these census numbers to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives and, as a result, the State of Louisiana lost a House seat to which it was entitled. Louisiana is asking that the Supreme Court order the federal government to recalculate the 2010 apportionment of House seats based upon legal residents as the U.S. Constitution requires.

Judicial Watch, in partnership with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF), filed the brief on January 13, 2012, in a lawsuit filed by the State of Louisiana against John Bryson, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; and Karen Lehman Hass, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here’s a brief excerpt from our amicus:

Amici are concerned about the failure to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and the corrosive effect of this failure on our institutions and the rule of law. Among the problems caused by this failure is a redistribution of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to States with large populations of unlawfully present aliens.

Amici respectfully submit that neither Article I Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment, or any other provision of the Constitution authorize or permit the inclusion of unlawfully present aliens in the apportionment process. As a result, this case raises issues critical not just to Louisiana, but to every State, every American citizen, and our federal system of government.

Judicial Watch argues that, due to this Census Bureau policy, at least five states will lose House seats to which they are entitled.

For example, based upon the Census Bureau’s calculation, Louisiana is being allocated only six House seats, as opposed to the seven that it would have been apportioned, were it not for the inclusion of illegal aliens and “non-immigrant foreign nationals,” which encompasses holders of student visas and guest workers. The brief also notes that the “apportionment, in turn, determines the apportionment of electors in the Electoral College for the next three presidential elections.”

It is the contention of the State of Louisiana, Judicial Watch, and AEF that “the policy of counting unlawfully present aliens in the nation’s decennial census is unconstitutional and undermines both our federal system of government and our democratic institutions,” and is the “direct result of the failure to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.”

In other words, the U.S. Census is distorting the democratic process.

And the problem is only going to get worse considering the Obama administration’s hostility to enforcing illegal immigration laws, which is causing greater numbers of illegal aliens to flood into the country. You can see how that this failure to enforce immigration law undermines a foundational aspect of our democracy. We are pleased to join with the Allied Educational Foundation to file this amicus curiae brief in support of the State of Louisiana and the rule of law. And we hope the Supreme Court takes up this historic case and vindicates the right of American citizens to have full representation in Washington.

Until next week,

Tom Fitton
Tom Fitton


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