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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Supreme Court UPDATE

The Supreme Court Should Overturn Roe v. Wade
Why No One Is Surprised Hillary Clinton’s Influence-Peddling Foundation Collapsed
Documents Reveal Bill Clinton’s Trip with Ghislaine Maxwell
TRIAL UPDATE: Judicial Watch Lawyers in Court Trial against California’s Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards
Judicial Watch Seeks to Depose Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot about Her Racist Interview Policy
Judicial Watch Sues on Behalf of Massachusetts Teacher Fired for Opposing Critical Race Theory

 

The Supreme Court Should Overturn Roe v. Wade

The rule of law and our constitutional system was undermined by the Roe v. Wade decision that led to the legalization of abortion on demand. 

In this regard, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. Our brief in support of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act argues that states have the right under the Constitution to regulate abortion and protect unborn life. (Dobbs v. Jackson (No. 19-1392)).

Our brief argues that the Supreme Court should overturn Roe and restore the regulation of abortion to the states:

Despite creative judicial legislating, it is crystal clear that abortion does not involve war, peace, negotiation, foreign commerce, or taxation. Abortion fits squarely into the states’ sphere of objects that concern the “lives, liberties, and properties of the people.” Not being an enumerated power, the Roe Court did not have the authority to overturn the abortion laws of the states.

Additionally, our brief notes that Roe v. Wade didn’t provide clarity, but instead muddied the waters:

Far from creating a national consensus, Roe threw the states into a 48-year contentious legal battle. Even some abortion advocates eschew the injudicious method of federalizing abortion as short-circuiting a naturally evolving jurisprudence under state laws. As federal and state judges attempt to apply this Court’s precedents, a national landscape of inconsistent, inconclusive, and untenable rules have emerged. As a national policy, abortion jurisprudence is, in a word, a mess. Stubbornly holding on to unconstitutional precedent will never have a positive outcome. It is time to return abortion policy to the states where it belongs and where the democratic process can effectively work.

States must be able to defend life, and the disastrous Roe decision has upended our constitutional order. The Supreme Court has a chance to right a constitutional wrong in a way that will allow Americans again to protect the right to life.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule by June of next year…

Why No One Is Surprised Hillary Clinton’s Influence-Peddling Foundation Collapsed

Per usual, Judicial Watch took the lead in exposing Bill and Hillary Clinton’s shady dealings inside their “foundation,” especially in the way they used it to sell influence. Now their foundation’s fundraising is collapsing, which isn’t a surprise, as I detail in this op-ed for Daily Caller:

When one of the most recognizable nonprofits in the world loses 75% of its contributions over a four-year period, there are typically investigatory reports written into what has gone wrong. That isn’t the case with the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation received $62.9 million in 2016 but only $16.3 million in 2020, and very few people seem to have noticed.

That is because most Beltway insiders know the Clinton Foundation’s primary purpose: to serve as a platform for Hillary Clinton’s political operation while lining the Clintons’ pockets by trading influence for money. That is why donations spiked when Hillary was secretary of state and most of the world thought she was destined to become president — and why they cratered after she lost.

Kevin Thurm, the CEO of the Clinton Foundation, tried to play off the 2020 decline off as pandemic-related. In a letter, he wrote that 2020 “was a difficult year for philanthropy. Across the sector, resources were stretched thinly and fundraising activities were impacted.” This argument doesn’t explain the tens of millions the Foundation lost between 2016 and 2019 and ignores that charitable giving was up by 5.1% in America last year.

Of course, an objective observer easily understands the real reason the Clinton Foundation experienced such a sharp decline in contributions since 2016. The Foundation is an influence-peddling scheme, and the Clintons’ influence has waned. Even Obama understood the scheme. When President Obama nominated Hillary Clinton in 2009 to serve as secretary of state, she agreed to a strict memorandum of understanding to wall off the Foundation from conflicts of interest with the State Department. As Judicial Watch uncovered, the Clinton team immediately violated this agreement by using the Clinton State Department to help Clinton Foundation donors.

The Clintons also agreed that the State Department would approve Bill Clinton’s speeches. Judicial Watch investigations (in partnership with the Daily Calleruncovered that this agreement translated into the Clinton State Department rubber-stamping virtually all of Bill Clinton’s 215 speeches, which raked in $48 million in speaking fees while his wife was secretary of state. These speeches included government-controlled entities in China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. State Department memos approving his speeches were routinely sent to Cheryl Mills, who was Hillary Clinton’s senior counsel and chief of staff – and a former Foundation board member!

The former president blurred ethical lines, routinely mixing diplomacy and Clinton Foundation fundraising. He praised Colombian President Manuel Santos’s efforts to reach out to terrorist group FARC shortly after playing golf with the president as part of a fundraising effort. In another email exchange, a Clinton Foundation official briefed the State Department on Clinton’s trip to Myanmar and his efforts to promote the Clinton Foundation.

If this wasn’t sleazy enough, emails reveal that the Clinton Foundation was influencing State Department decisions. Records show that Huma Abedin, Secretary Clinton’s close friend and State Department official, often served as a conduit between Secretary Clinton and top donors. In one case, Clinton declined to meet with Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain, but after Doug Band from the Clinton Foundation emailed Abedin, the Crown Prince ended up on Clinton’s schedule. Band also attempted to get a visa for an English soccer player with a criminal charge because Casey Wasserman, a major Foundation donor, wanted the visa approved. Similarly, Band pushed Foggy Bottom to help Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, because Chagoury, who had donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, was “key guy there [Lebanon] and to us.”

In another instance, Band pushed Abedin to make a particular hire, arguing that it was “important to take care of [Redacted].” Abedin assured Band that “Personnel has been sending him options.” This revelation of an outside donor pushing for a political appointment through a nonprofit might seem shocking, but the Justice Department had little interest in this influence peddling scheme.

Maybe the most egregious instance of Clinton corruption is the Uranium One deal. Bill Clinton reportedly helped his billionaire pal Frank Giustra acquire uranium mining rights from the Kazakhstani dictator in the mid-2000s. Giustra then gave tens of millions to the Clinton Foundation. In 2009, when it appeared the Kazakhstani government might seize the uranium, Secretary Clinton helped approve a deal that allowed a Russian state-owned company to take over part of the company, even though she had previously opposed foreign companies controlling vital U.S. resources. Unsurprisingly, those involved in this deal donated millions to the Clinton Foundation, which tried to hide the donations.

The collapse of the Clinton Foundation might shock outsiders, but it is no surprise to those who have watched the Clintons’ machinations for years. The Foundation existed as a way for the Clintons to peddle their connections and power in exchange for money. When it became clear they’d never hold power again, donors predictably turned off the cash spigot.

But the grift game never stops, as the Obama Foundation is now on the scene. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just gave the Obama Foundation a $100 million gift. As the Clinton money machine declines, the Obama machine rises!

Documents Reveal Bill Clinton’s Trip with Ghislaine Maxwell

We have been investigating former President Bill Clinton’s involvement with Jeffrey Epstein for years, and we now have more insight.

We received four pages of records from the Secret Service revealing that Bill Clinton took a trip with Ghislaine Maxwell to India. Maxwell, a longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, is now on trial for sex trafficking and other charges.

We obtained the documents through a FOIA request to the Secret Service for information about any trips Bill Clinton took with Ghislaine Maxwell.

The records include exchanges between Secret Service officers about a trip Maxwell took with President Clinton. In a November 20, 2003, email exchange, a Secret Service official advises a colleague, “The LA lead is [redacted]. Manifest to Osaka and LA (has not been confirmed but this should not deviate too much). FPOTUS Clinton [redacted] Ghislaine Maxwell [redacted]. Crew [redacted].”

The colleague replied, “Thanks [redacted] info helps. I’ll have the prelim sent to my office by this evening so the twx [teletype] can go out tomorrow [redacted].”

On November 22, 2003, a Secret Service agent responded to the same chain, writing, “[Redacted] I have just received an updated manifest for the trip to LA. The additional names are [redacted]. Hope this doesn’t create too many issues for you. I’ve attached the passport list. Thanks [redacted]; Agra, India to Los Angeles, CA (via Japan for fuel stop)”.

An official replies, “Thanks [redacted] I met with the [redacted] today and they had given me that info along with [redacted] (another addition), so we have 4 crew members and 12 staff and [redacted] USSS [redacted] total. Not sure if they are feeding our [redacted] USSS, so I’ll have food and drinks waiting for them. Cheers”.

Another agent responded, “as far as crew and usss are concerned then that is correct – staff/guest list could change – as you see [redacted] but I don’t think drastically. I just heard about [redacted] from my saic [Special Agent-in-Charge]. If you are able to get my guys food then it is greatly appreciated – evn [sic] an attempt. All you guys in Honolulu have made my job much less difficult. Thank you for all your help.”

Finally, an agent wrote “[Redacted] no problem. We’re here to help and happy to do so. I know your guys have been run through the ringer and I think everyone wants to see this trip get over, so if I can help make their trip a little nicer, that’s the least we can do. I heard that when they flew from Oslo to Hong Kong via Russia fuel stop, they had nothing to eat that entire trip, so I don’t want that to happen again.”

Obviously, this new information raises more questions about the extent and nature of the relationship between Bill Clinton, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

TRIAL UPDATE: Judicial Watch Lawyers in Court Trial against California’s Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards

Judicial Watch lawyers are now in a California Superior Court trial in a taxpayer lawsuit challenging constitutionality of California’s gender quotas for corporate boards of directors. The trial is expected to last three weeks and is taking place in a Los Angeles courtroom (Robin Crest et al. v. Alex Padilla (No.19STCV27561)).

We filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2019, on behalf of California taxpayers Robin Crest, Earl De Vries and Judy De Vries. The lawsuit challenges a 2018 law, known as Senate Bill 826, which requires every publicly held corporation headquartered in California to have at least one director “who self-identifies her gender as a woman” on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. The law also requires corporations to have up to three such persons on their boards by December 31, 2021, depending on the size of the board.

We argue that California’s quotas for women on corporate boards violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution, among other provisions, and we ask the court to permanently enjoin any expenditure of taxpayer funds to implement the quotas.

In our brief prepared for the trial we point out:

Even time spent by public officials carrying out an unlawful law can be enjoined…. Application of the law as written will result in a state official expending taxpayer funds on an unlawful law unless the expenditures are enjoined.

***

California’s equal protection clause – is clear and well settled: “When the challenged statutory scheme employs express gender classifications, a plaintiff meets his or her burden [of establishing unconstitutionality] by pointing that out.”

It is undeniable that SB 826 expressly employs a gender-based classification. The law requires a pre-determined number of board seats be set aside exclusively for women (or females as defined). Accordingly, Plaintiffs will have satisfied the fourth and final element of their article I, section 7 claim based on the statute itself. The burden of justifying SB 826’s express gender classification (i.e., satisfying all elements of strict scrutiny analysis) shifts to Defendant …

new studypublished on November 18, found “a robust and significantly negative stock market reaction” to California’s gender quota mandate.

Before the quota bill passed, a California Assembly floor analysis identified a “significant risk of legal challenges” to SB 826. It characterized the legislation as creating a “quota-like system” and noted, “[T]his bill, if enacted into law, would likely be challenged on equal protection grounds … The use of a quota-like system, as proposed by this bill, to remedy past discrimination and differences in opportunity may be difficult to defend.” 

In signing SB 826 in September 2018, then-Governor Brown wrote that “serious legal concerns have been raised” to the legislation. “I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation.” He signed the bill anyway, noting “Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. – and beyond – make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”

This trial essentially puts ‘Critical Theory’ on the dock for a discriminatory gender quota mandate that is blatantly unlawful and unconstitutional. SB826 would upend decades of settled constitutional law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. Even Gov. Brown, in signing the law, worried that it is unconstitutional. We hope this trial will vindicate the rule of law.

In a previous filing in this case, we included expert analysis from Jonathan Klick, Ph.D., J.D., an expert in econometrics, statistics, and corporate law, who concluded:

In my opinion, the evidence offered in [the] declarations supporting Secretary Padilla’s motion for each of these points (underrepresentation of women on boards, discrimination as the cause of this underrepresentation, and that research shows a differential benefit of appointing women, as opposed to men, in terms of firm performance) is deficient and unreliable.

In September 2020, we also filed a taxpayer lawsuit to prevent California from enforcing Assembly Bill 979, which requires the same corporation subject to the gender-based quota also to satisfy racial, ethnic, sexual preference and transgender status quotas by the end of the 2021 calendar year.

In January 2021, we filed a public comment with the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to a proposed rule change requiring race and gender quotas on the boards of corporations listed on the Nasdaq exchange.

Of course, we’ll be sure to let you know what the Los Angeles court ultimately decides!

Judicial Watch Seeks to Depose Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot about Her Racist Interview Policy

Your relentless Judicial Watch just filed a motion for court authorization to depose Mayor Lori Lightfoot in our civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Thomas Catenacci and the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding her policy of only granting interviews to “journalists of color.”

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 confirming her discriminatory policy.

On May 27, 2021, we filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci against 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)). Christine Svenson of Svenson Law Offices in Palatine, Illinois, is assisting us with the lawsuit.

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 multiple follow up emails from Catenacci.

In August, the court ordered the deposition of a representative of Lightfoot’s office.

In our new motion, we point out:

Defendant Lori Lightfoot breached her obligation … to designate a person or persons to testify on her behalf concerning topics authorized by the Court. From the earliest moments of the deposition, it was beyond clear that Mayor Lightfoot failed to produce a witness who could testify to the factual issues raised in her motion to dismiss and within the scope of the Court’s order. Specifically, Kathleen LeFurgy, Mayor Lightfoot’s designee … was grossly ill prepared to testify as Mayor Lightfoot’s designee.

We are now asking the court to order the deposition of Lightfoot herself “on oral examination …”

In a separate motion, we also ask the court to order the mayor’s office to answer 19 questions and any reasonable follow-up questions that LeFurgy had  refused to answer during the deposition.

Testimony in this lawsuit confirms Lightfoot is responsible for her racist interview policy and is therefore a necessary witness in this civil rights lawsuit.

“Based on the court proceedings to date it sure seems like Mayor Lightfoot is trying to dodge responsibility for her racist interview policy. We hope the court does not let this happen,” Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel said.

“It’s high time Mayor Lightfoot answered directly for denying my interview request. The mayor must be held responsible for her blatantly racist interview policy,” Thomas Catenacci said.

Judicial Watch Sues on Behalf of Massachusetts Teacher Fired for Opposing Critical Race Theory 

Critical Race Theory abuse is rising schools across the country, and we’re fighting back.

In our latest effort, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Kari MacRae, a Massachusetts high school teacher who was fired in retaliation for posts on social media objecting to the inclusion of critical race theory in schools (MacRae vs. Matthew Mattos and Matthew A. Ferron (No. 1:21-cv-11917).

The lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, asks for damages against Hanover School Superintendent Matthew Ferron and Hanover High School Principal Matthew Mattos for retaliating against MacRae, a math/business teacher at Hanover High School, for exercising her First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit details that MacRae, who was hired as a Hanover High School teacher on August 31, 2021, was fired over several TikTok video posts that were made months prior to her hiring at the school. MacRae, who in May of 2021 was elected to the Bourne School Committee, said she made the posts in her personal capacity as a citizen and candidate for public office.

MacRae was fired on September 29, 2021.

“I got fired specifically for a social media post I made,” she said. “That’s a violation of free speech,” MacRae told the Cape Cod Times in an interview published on October 13, 2021.

The lawsuit details that Mattos met with MacRae on September 24, 2021 to inform her that he was investigating the impact of six memes and two TikTok videos that MacRae posted which were referenced in a September 22, 2021, Boston Globe article.

On May 18, 2021, as part of her campaign for school committee member, MacRae posted a TikTok video which stated, in part:

So pretty much the reason I ran for school board and the reason I’m taking on this responsibility is to ensure that students, at least in our town, are not being taught critical race theory. That they’re not being taught that the country was built on racism. So they’re not being taught that they can choose whether or not they want to be a girl or a boy. It’s one thing to include and it’s one thing to be inclusive. And it’s one thing to educate everybody about everything. It’s completely another thing to push your agenda. And, with me on the school board, that won’t happen in our town.

In a letter dated September 29, 2021, Mattos fired MacRae from her position at Hanover High School, stating, “I have determined that continuing your employment in light of your social media posts would have a significant impact on student learning at HHS.” Ferron reviewed and approved Mattos’ decision to fire MacRae.

The lawsuit details that no Hanover High School parent or student had raised concerns about MacRae’s employment at Hanover High School because of the social media posts.

Kari MacRae was viciously targeted and unlawfully fired as a teacher because she exercised her First Amendment rights to criticize critical race theory. This civil rights lawsuit aims to hold accountable school district officials who are so desperate to push critical race theory that they will trample the civil rights of our client, Ms. MacRae.

Until next week …


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