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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

Supreme Court Abuses Power

Supreme Court Protects Obama Illegal Amnesty
The Supreme Court Legislates from the Bench
Criminal Illegals Released for Coronavirus Violate House Arrest Orders Often
Stealing an Election: California’s Mail-in Ballot Scam
U.S. Research Agency Fires Dozens of Scientists with Ties to China

Supreme Court Protects Obama Illegal Amnesty

Chief Justice Roberts and four liberal Supreme Court Justices ruled against the Trump administration’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program.

In doing so it has undermined the Constitution. Obama’s decision to provide amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens under the DACA program was unlawful, and the court interfered with President Trump’s duty and absolute right to rescind it.

Chief Justice Roberts and his liberal colleagues ruled that it is illegal for President Trump to end an illegal Obama program. This is the Alice-in-Wonderland approach to judicial decision-making. Threats to the rule of law come not only from rioters and looters in the streets, but also from activist judges on the bench.

Only Congress can amend the law, not President Obama nor the courts. One cannot help but conclude that this decision is driven more by politics than the rule of law.

We have previously highlighted how DACA is not only illegal but also a threat to the public safety. For example, we uncovered how the Obama administration granted DACA amnesty without the promised background checks.

We encourage the Trump administration not to give up but to end DACA now to preserve the rule of law, protect our borders, and ensure the public safety.

The Supreme Court Legislates from the Bench

I’m sure you noted the decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding sex discrimination.

In expanding the ban of sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the court engaged in an abuse of power by legislating from the bench.

There has been a years-long battle by the Left to change federal law to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But the Court short-circuited the democratic process and rewrote the law without a vote of Congress but by a vote of six unelected judges.

Congress should reaffirm the Constitution and combat this judicial power grab by reaffirming the original meaning of the Civil Rights Act. Only Congress can amend a law, not the Supreme Court.

As Justice Alito warns, the decision, unless fixed by Congress, could destroy women’s sports, weaken religious freedom and free speech, weaken personal privacy, and cause chaos in schools.

Last year we submitted an amicus curiae (friend of court) brief to the court on this issue, detailing how Congress repeatedly rejected efforts to amend the law. Where 71 bills over the course of 45 years attempted to include sexual orientation or gender identity in Title VII’s definition of sex, it is singularly unpersuasive, after all those bills have failed, to argue that these categories were “in there all along.”

Any such statute should be passed by Congress, not ordered by the court.

Criminal Illegals Released for Coronavirus Violate House Arrest Orders Often

Raise your hand if you thought releasing criminals from jail because of the virus was a good idea. That’s what I thought. Our Corruption Chronicles blog’s latest reportisn’t going to make you change your mind.

Criminal illegal immigrants released from jail to avoid spreading COVID-19 repeatedly violate court orders requiring home confinement as part of an improvised bail agreement provoked by the pandemic. Some of the recently incarcerated individuals now roaming around freely have convictions for serious offenses such as aggravated assault with a weapon, drug trafficking, domestic violence, fraud and extortion. In several of the cases, a federal judge’s coronavirus-inspired house arrest orders have served as a big joke. Some illegal alien convicts have left their home hundreds of times despite federal court orders to stay home, according to a legal filing obtained by a conservative Boston newspaper that is closely tracking the scandal.

It all began when attorneys at a civil rights group that “fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants”petitioned a federal court to release illegal immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over coronavirus. Dozens were released on bail in Bristol County, Massachusetts with tracking devices to assure they remain under house arrest. Instead, many have left their home repeatedly, according to federal prosecutors and legal filings cited in the news series. One illegal alien left his house 214 times in one month and another 78 times. Others have violated house arrest orders on dozens of occasions and one illegal immigrant convict left 17 times in one day, a federal prosecutor told a judge during a hearing this week. The same offender recorded around 129 infractions in only a few weeks. The bail violations are well documented with data provided by court-mandated GPS monitoring.

This appears to have upset the federal judge, Reagan-appointed William Young, who ordered the illegal immigrants released in response to a class action lawsuit filed by the civil rights nonprofit. The complaint describes detained illegal immigrants as “highly vulnerable,” and “at imminent risk of contracting COVID-19” as well as “death” because they are “literally trapped” in detention with no safe alternative. “Their confinement conditions and detention treatment have created a dangerous and hazardous situation that imminently threatens their lives, as well as the well-being of guards and others in the surrounding community, and the general public,” according to the lawsuit, which names cities throughout the nation that released thousands of detainees—including people serving sentences for criminal convictions—because of the threat COVID-10 poses inside jails. Among them are Los Angeles, Oakland, New Jersey, New York City, Cleveland, Nashville, Houston, San Antonio and Charlotte.

At this week’s court hearing to address the criminal illegal aliens’ disregard for the rule of law, Judge Young said “courts do not make orders to have them flouted,” according to a news story on the event in Boston. “I want to know in affidavits, under oath, if we can find these people,” the judge added. “We use electronic monitoring for a reason.” The article reveals that attorneys representing the criminal illegal immigrants blame “misinformation” and “conflicting messages” for the pervasive violations. The federal prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kanwit, told the judge the violations continue. “I’m astounded we’re discussing if bail should be revoked,” the federal prosecutor said. “They thumbed their nose at the court.” At the hearing Kanwit also told the court that one of the coronavirus-released illegal immigrants cut his GPS monitoring bracelet a day after assaulting his girlfriend.

In the meantime, local law enforcement authorities are outraged that this is going on in their community and are doing what they can to keep residents safe. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has created a prisoner release alert system to inform the public about the serious crimes committed by the illegal immigrants freed into his jurisdiction. The first alert lists the following charges or criminal convictions against illegal aliens abruptly let go over coronavirus: Rape, domestic violence, burglary, larceny, heroin distribution, aggravated assault, kidnapping, child neglect, distribution of cocaine and a multitude of other offenses. The sheriff updates the system every time an illegal immigrant is released back into his community “to help protect the people of Bristol County from potential victimization.”

Well, they are illegal. And then they broke another law. And we let them go.

Stealing an Election: California’s Mail-in Ballot Scam

The Left continues its war on clean elections. In his Investigative Bulletin, Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, reviewsthe issue, especially the potential Election Day chaos in California:

Reluctant to let a good crisis go to waste, California Governor Gavin Newsom last month issued an executive order directing that mail-in ballots for the presidential election be provided to all registered voters in the Golden State. The reason? “To preserve public health in the face of the threat of Covid-19.”

Last week, Judicial Watch asked a California federal court to halt this breathtaking display of political opportunism.

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted in recent testimony to Congress, the Newsom executive order was a particularly cynical move.

While Newsom “has relied on his emergency powers in the face of the pandemic to order all-mail ballot elections,” Tom said, “he has notably failed to restrict ballot harvesting under state law, which allows paid employees of public sector unions, among others, to go door-to-door gathering ballots from strangers, even helping those voters fill them out. Public health, in other words, is cited as a justification when it is convenient, and is ignored when it is inconvenient. This is just the kind of self-interested, partisan game-playing that causes Americans voters to react with disgust at how we conduct our elections.”

But what harm could a mail-in ballot—also known as an absentee ballot—do?

Plenty, it turns out.

The bipartisan 2005 Carter-Baker Commission noted that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud…. Absentee balloting is vulnerable to abuse in several ways: blank ballots mailed to the wrong address or to a large residential building might get intercepted. Citizens who vote at home, at nursing homes, at the workplace, or in church are more susceptible to pressure, overt and subtle, or to intimidation. Vote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.”

Tom noted the Carter-Baker findings in his Congressional testimony, but he zeroed in on a bigger issue: the sweeping collapse of voter registration lists around the country and its impact on clean elections. Judicial Watch is the national leader in election reform, fighting for enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act. We’re investigating NVRA abuses across the country, including in California, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado.

States are required by the NVRA to remove so-called “inactive voters” from registration rolls if they do not respond to an address confirmation notice and then fail to vote in the next two general federal elections. These inactive voters are usually people who have died or moved. I noted in an earlier bulletinthat leaving the names of inactive voters on registration rolls creates opportunities for fraud, such as dead people voting or double voting. Critics argue that these concerns are overblown, but sometimes it only takes a few votes to swing an election.

California is a prime example of the inactive voter threat. A Judicial Watch investigation uncovered 1.6 million inactive voters on Los Angeles County voting rolls. Our investigation found that Los Angeles County had more voter registrations on its rolls than actual voting age citizens in the county, and that the entire state had a voter registration rate of 101% of age-eligible citizens. In 2017, we sued to force a cleanup.

Last year, California capitulated, agreeing to settle our lawsuit and remove inactive voters from its rolls.

But that’s a process that won’t be completed until 2022. And meanwhile, as Tom told Congress, under the terms of Gov. Newsom’s executive order, “these 1.6 million inactive registrations, the vast majority of whom no longer reside in Los Angeles County, California, should receive ballots. Circulating all those live ballots, unmonitored by their original owners who have moved or died, is a threat to the integrity of California’s elections.”

It’s not just conservatives who are worried about California’s mail-in ballot problems. A study by the Stanford Law School—hardly a bastion of reactionary thought—conducted before the pandemic hit and published last month concluded that vote-by-mail raises “a variety of concerns.” Among them: at-home voters are susceptible to pressure from family members; votes get lost in the mail; requested ballots don’t always make it to the voter; and problems with signature identification and verifications.

We have asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to issue a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of Gov. Newsom’s fear-mongering “public health” order on mail-in ballots. “We can see that people will exercise their First Amendment rights if they think it’s important,” Tom told Congress. “Voting is important, and they will vote in person. And they should be able to vote in person without being scared to death about doing it.”

It’s also been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. Let’s pray this isn’t true.

U.S. Research Agency Fires Dozens of Scientists with Ties to China

China is much in the news, and very little of it is good. We’re starting to understand the incredible reach China has in our country – and its sticky fingers around critical scientific research. Our Corruption Chroniclesblog has the latest.

Dozens of scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. government’s handsomely funded medical research agency, have been fired over their secret financial ties to Communist China. It is not clear how long they went undetected or how much taxpayer-funded research they stole, but so far 54 scientists have been booted for failing to disclose a troubling financial arrangement with a foreign government. In the overwhelming majority of cases—93%—the cash came from China, according to an ongoing NIH investigation that started two years ago. Also, in most of the probes the targets were Asian men in their 50s. The bulk of the ousted researchers received generous grants from the NIH, a federal agency with a $41.7 billion annual budget.

The probe, launched in the summer of 2018, is being conducted by Dr. Michael S. Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the NIH. It mainly focuses on 285 active grants distributed to institutions in 27 states and 59 cities, totaling $164 million. Investigators singled out 399 “scientists of possible concern” and found that 133 (70%) had an “undisclosed grant” from a foreign government and 102 (54%) had an “undisclosed talents award.” More than 150 committed other NIH violations. Nine percent of the researchers concealed ties to a foreign company and 4% had an undisclosed foreign patent. Around three quarters of those investigated had active NIH grants and almost half of the scientists had at least two grants funded by American taxpayers. Every year the NIH invests tens of billions of dollars in medical research by giving around 50,000 grants to more than 300,000 researchers at more than 2,500 universities, medical schools and other institutions throughout the country. Only 10% of the agency’s budget supports projects conducted by scientists in its own lab in Bethesda Maryland.

Less than a year ago, a congressional investigation found that the NIH is among the government agencies that have long permitted Communists working in the U.S. to steal billions in taxpayer-funded scientific research. Others include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories. For years all have been deeply impacted by Chinese infiltrators stealing valuable research, according to a scathing U.S. Senate report that describes the probe’s findings. Investigators determined that billions of dollars in scientific research funded by American taxpayers has been stolen by China right under our noses and the U.S. government has no viable plan to stop the ongoing theft of the highly valued intellectual property. In the meantime, the publicly funded work is helping the Communist nation meet its goal of becoming a world leader in science and technology. “This report exposes how American taxpayer funded research has contributed to China’s global rise over the last 20 years,” the document states. “During that time, China openly recruited U.S.-based researchers, scientists, and experts in the public and private sector to provide China with knowledge and intellectual capital in exchange for monetary gain and other benefits.”

While the Chinese Communists run their illicit operation on our own soil, the federal government’s grant-making and law enforcement agencies do little to stop it, which makes the NIH’s probe long overdue though it only considers a tiny portion of its multi-billion-dollar grants. Besides the FBI practically ignoring the violations, the government research agencies impacted by the costly crimes have failed to develop a coordinated response to mitigate the ongoing threat, Senate investigators found. “These failures continue to undermine the integrity of the American research enterprise and endanger our national security,” Senate investigators determined. China uses hundreds of government-funded talent recruitment plans—specifically mentioned in the new NIH probe—to incentivize individuals engaged in research and development in the U.S, transmit information in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space and other perks. The Communists then use the American research for their own economic and military gain. An example is Chinese talent recruitment members who downloaded sensitive electronic research files before returning to China, submitted false information when applying for grant funds and willfully failed to disclose receiving money from the Chinese government on U.S. grant applications. One Chinese talent recruitment member removed 30,000 electronic files before heading back home. Another filed a patent based on U.S. government-funded research and hired other Chinese recruitment plan members to work on American national security projects. The NIH has not revealed specifics on the recently fired scientists with ties to China nor have the culprits been identified.

Chinese infiltrators have been stealing valuable research from the U.S. government for decades. In fact, more than 20 years ago Judicial Watch helped expose a Chinese Communist scientist (Wen Ho Lee), who stole nuclear secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, among the world’s largest science institutions and the nation’s key nuclear weapons research facility. The Bill Clinton Justice Department refused to prosecute Lee because then Attorney General Janet Reno claimed the accusations against him were racist. Judicial Watch represented the whistleblower, Notra Trulock, responsible for launching an investigation into Lee’s actions. Trulock was the DOE’s intelligence operations chief and Clinton administration officials defamed him by accusing him of being a racist to cover up Lee’s repeated and embarrassing security violations.

President Trump has a lot of sorting out to do regarding China.

Until next week,


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