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Tom Fitton's Weekly Update

Senate Must Say No to Schiff Abuse

Impeachment-Coup Update
Judicial Watch Files New Supreme Court Brief in Key Abortion Case
Honduras Arrests U.S.-Bound Iranians as New Caravan Heads North
Trans State Workers Sue Florida Demanding Support for Controversial Surgeries
The New Anti-Semitic Moment


Impeachment-Coup Update

The President, the rule of law, and our Constitution continue to be abused as the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continues.

We’ve done many media interviews on the current crisis, notably with Lou Dobbs and Dan Bongino. (My interview with Dan was retweeted by President Trump!) The president is going to be acquitted but with significant damage to our republic, the very notion of self-government, our Constitution, and the rule of law generally. As I’ve previously noted:

There has been nothing in American history that compares to the coup attack against President Trump. It has been nothing but a wild abuse of the Constitution. Frankly, the word impeachment should be replaced with the word coup, because the president was illicitly targeted for removal from office for doing his job in asking questions about Ukraine corruption and its ties to Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Burisma. To be clear, the president was also attacked for objecting to the House Democrats’ abuse of his office.

The U.S. Senate should reject these acts of tyranny by the House of Representatives. In the meantime, you can be sure that we will investigate the Biden-Ukraine scandal, as well as the Deep State scandals and the illegal spying on the President of the United States. Our republic is at stake.

I encourage you to call and call your senators to let them know what you think about this latest assault on our American system. You can reach them at 202-225-3121.

In the meantime, you can be sure that Judicial Watch will continue to do the heavy lifting in court to expose the historic scandal that is the criminal conspiracy and abuse targeting President Trump.

Judicial Watch Files New Supreme Court Brief in Key Abortion Case

Abortion advocates around the country are abusing the law as they challenge efforts to protect the health of women and their unborn children. We’ve gotten involved in one Supreme Court case in Louisiana, which passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

We have filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Dr. Rebecca Gee v. June Medical Services, et al. (No. 18-1460), in which we oppose abortion providers’ efforts to overturn Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on March 4, 2020.

In our brief we argue that abortion providers petitioning the court to overturn the law lack a legally protectable interest in the outcome, otherwise known as “standing.”

We point out that plaintiffs generally may file a lawsuit only to protect their own rights, not the rights of others. In this litigation, the lower courts allowed third-party abortion interests to challenge the law on the theory they represent the interests of women. As our brief points out, expanding health and safety requirements for abortionists can be argued to be in the best interests of women:

Plaintiffs’ actual interests were made clear: unfettered access to perform abortions free of any regulation, ostensibly for financial gain. No individual women appeared as plaintiffs to the case. No women testified that they preferred not to have their abortion providers have admitting privileges or that they preferred abortion providers ignore the FDA-approved use of abortion medications. It defies logic to think women would not have an interest in these things, hence the conflict of interests between the litigant abortion providers and the third-party women right holders.

We urge the Supreme Court to rein in this abuse of the courts for political ends:

Petitioners’ claim of assumed third-party standing would effectively gut both the purpose and application of third-party standing. They would essentially be free to challenge any law that even indirectly touches on abortion simply because they fall into a category of favored litigants. This defeats the purpose of the political process, thwarts the will of the people, and contravenes the role of the Legislature. In every case where litigants like Petitioners have used assumed third-party standing, legislative hearings and debate, public hearings and debate, and political and election exercises have been for naught – completely neutralized by Petitioners’ desire to leapfrog the political process and usurp the courts.

It’s clear that the Supreme Court should put a stop to this misuse of the courts by interests that seek to overturn laws passed by the people’s representatives.


Honduras Arrests U.S.-Bound Iranians as New Caravan Heads North

We now have another unnerving story about the border crisis, Iran, and national security. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports:

As hundreds join a new U.S.-bound caravan in Honduras, authorities in the crime-infested Central American nation reveal that four Iranians were recently arrested there. Like thousands of illegal immigrants from around the world, the Iranians entered Honduras illegally and were heading north to the United States, according to a Honduran newspaper article that attributes the information to the president, Juan Orlando Hernández. The Iranians were transported to the capital, Tegucigalpa, and officials have launched an investigation.

Earlier this week Judicial Watch reported on a U.S. alert warning Mexico of armed Iranians planning to enter the country through the southern border, but it’s not clear if the cases are related and calls to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) went unanswered. The bulletin, issued by the Border Patrol’s regional intelligence operation center in Arizona, said that a Guatemalan national may try to smuggle five Middle Easterners—including a suicide bomber—into the U.S. through Mexico. The smuggler and four other men and a woman transited through Guatemala and Belize before reaching Veracruz, Mexico, according to the bulletin. The Guatemalan, whose name is redacted in the government document, was deported from California a year ago. U.S. authorities received the threat after picking up recordings distributed via social media, according to a Spanish-language news story published by a Latin American outlet.

The U.S. alert didn’t faze a busy Mexican border city’s police chief, who confirms the region is full of Middle Easterners, Africans and Asians trekking north. In a Latin American news report published shortly after the U.S. issued the bulletin, Mexicali Police Chief María Elena Andrade Ramírez matter-of-factly said the arrival of people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia as well as the rest of the Americas is “normal” in her California border city of about a million residents. In a separate article published in a Mexicali paper, authorities downplayed the situation by assuring citizens that the arrival of people from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and the rest of the Americas is “something normal.

They don’t magically land in Mexico. Central America has long been a popular route for illegal immigrants from terrorist nations who want to reach the U.S. There’s no doubt many will infiltrate the new caravan heading to the Mexican border from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. President Hernández says some 70,000 immigrants from these countries cross through Honduras annually, even without an organized caravan.

When the first Central American caravan launched from Honduras in the fall of 2018, then Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales confirmed that nearly 100 ISIS terrorists had been apprehended in Guatemala. Like its Honduran neighbor, Guatemala too is a major smuggling corridor for foreigners from African and Asian countries making their way into the U.S. In 2017, Guatemala’s largest paper, Prensa Libra, published an in-depth piece on the inner workings of an international human smuggling network that moves migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh to the U.S.

Over the summer four ISIS terrorists planning to enter the U.S. through Mexico were captured by the Nicaraguan military in a remote area where the men entered the country illegally from Costa Rica. Nicaraguan authorities identified the men as two Egyptian nationals—33-year old Mohamed Ibrahim and 26-year-old Mahmoud Samy Eissa—and two Iraqis, 41-year-old Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury and 29-year-old Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob. The men arrived in Panama on May 12 and in Costa Rica on June 9, according to an article published in Nicaragua’s largest newspaper.

Put all of this in the context of Democrats braying when President Trump took out Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran’s elite Quds military force and considered the world’s No. 1 terrorist.


Trans State Workers Sue Florida Demanding Support for Controversial Surgeries

Around the country, and now in Florida, “transgender” activists are demanding all of us to pay for their sex-change surgeries. Corruption Chronicles has the details:

In what appears to be a growing national trend, another public enterprise is being sued for failing to pay for transgenders’ costly sex-change surgery. The plaintiffs in this latest case are two veteran state workers—both men—in Florida who allege sex discrimination because the state’s insurance policy doesn’t cover surgical procedures to help make them women. One of them, Jami Claire, is a senior biological scientist at the University of Florida (UF), the state’s premier university, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The other, Kathryn Lane, is an attorney in the Tallahassee public defender’s office. Both men take hormones and undergo electrolysis to make them more feminine.

Now they want taxpayers in the Sunshine State to fund expensive surgeries to alter their genitals and face. Claire, who is 62 years old, and Lane, 39, claim to have gender dysphoria that requires gender-affirming care explicitly excluded by the state’s health insurance program, which covers more than 350,000 employees and dependents. “Gender dysphoria is a serious, but treatable, medical condition,” according to the federal complaint filed this week is U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. “Left untreated it can lead to debilitating distress, depression, anxiety, impairment of function, substance abuse, self-surgery to alter one’s genitals, or secondary sex characteristics, self-injurious behavior and even suicide.” That makes “gender-affirming care” medically necessary, the lawsuit says, adding that singling out transgender employees for unequal treatment constitutes “unlawful sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Equal Protection Clause.”

Claire, the UF scientist, is a Navy veteran who has been living as a female for more than two decades and has a “well-established social and professional identity as a woman,” the complaint says. In 1997 he was diagnosed gender dysphoria and began taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis for hair removal. His wife and children disowned him and the “financial toll of the divorce” made gender-affirming treatments unaffordable so he stopped them until a few years ago. In 2016 Claire resumed gender affirmation treatments to “live authentically as a woman,” a medical necessity, the lawsuit says, because Claire experienced constant stress, anxiety, pain and anguish as a man. In 2018 Claire paid for a breast augmentation to feminize his body. Now he wants the state to pay for the surgical removal of his testicles, but his public insurance plan denied the procedure.

Lane, the attorney, also has a “well-established social and professional identity as a woman,” according to the complaint. He began experiencing gender dysphoria since the age of five but suppressed his “female identity” for many years, causing “severe depression and anxiety.” In 2012, Lane finally embraced his female identity and began hormone and facial/body hair removal treatments. Lane also began growing out the hair on his head to “be identified more easily as a female.” In 2015 he paid for breast augmentation surgery. The lawyer wants the state insurance plan to pay for an expensive cosmetic procedure known as “facial feminization surgery” essential to treating gender dysphoria. “Facial features play an important part in being recognized as a particular gender,” the lawsuit says. “The public’s ability to recognize an individual as transgender based on their facial features places that individual at risk of violence, harassment, and discrimination.”

Governments are increasingly being forced to pay for the pricey cosmetic treatments of transgender people who claim to be stuck in the wrong body. Thousands of dollars are annually spent to give transgender jail inmates nationwide hormone treatments, laser hair removal and makeup. In Massachusetts, a convicted murderer actually sued the Department of Corrections to pay for sex-change surgery. Last year a federal judge forced Wisconsin taxpayers to provide sex reassignment surgery and hormonal procedures for low-income transgender residents who get free medical care from the government. In his ruling, the federal judge wrote that Medicaid, the publicly funded insurance that covers 65.7 million poor people, cannot deny the medical treatment needs of those suffering from “gender dysphoria.” Officials estimate it will cost up to $1.2 million annually to provide transgender Medicaid recipients in the Badger State with treatments such as “gender confirmation” surgery, including elective mastectomies, hysterectomies, genital reconstruction and breast augmentation.

Could any of us imagined this just a few years ago?


The New Anti-Semitic Moment

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and here in the United States, particularly in New York and in certain radical left circles, too often with a wink and a nod from pubic officials. Micah Morrison, our chief investigative reporter, provides the details:

The impeachment trial of President Trump rolls on, but back in the real world, signs of a different sort of trouble are growing. It now seems clear we are living in a new anti-Semitic moment. From American college campuses to the streets of New York, from the cities of Europe to the Arab countries of the Middle East, reports of anti-Semitism emerge on a daily basis.

At Judicial Watch, we have been closely tracking developments. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton announced in May our legal action to shine a light on Arab government support for anti-Semitic activities at American universities. In September, we warned that rising anti-Semitic incidents in New York City signaled increasing social disorder.

The data have been moving in the wrong direction for several years. In November, the Anti-Defamation League released a sweeping global survey showing that nearly twenty-five percent of Europeans “harbor pernicious and pervasive attitudes toward Jews,” with rising numbers in Eastern and Central Europe. The numbers are also up in Russia, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. The attitudes are bonkers but familiar: the Jews control international finance, the U.S. government, the media; they are too loyal to Israel; they talk too much about the Holocaust.

In the U.S., anti-Semitic incidents were up 29% from 2015 to 2018, the Wall Street Journal reports. Numbers from the NYPD show that New York City, which has the largest Jewish population in the country, saw anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2019 jump 26% from the previous year.

In December, two assaults on Jews rocked the New York area. On December 10, a crazed duo gripped by anti-Semitic conspiracy theories assassinated a police detective and invaded a kosher market in Jersey City, killing three. Two weeks later, during Hanukah, a lunatic with a machete stormed into a gathering in Monsey, New York, injuring five. The lurid attacks seized headlines, but it’s the quotidian that is really unsettling, the daily reports filtering in largely under the radar: anti-Semitic slurs shouted on the Upper West Side, a man punched in the head; drunks outside a bar in Crown Heights taunt Orthodox Jews, assaults later reported; a subway stalker in a viral moment berating riders about Jewish power; swastikas found scrawled in a schoolyard, on a parked car, at a beachfront cabin; a Jewish child harassed at school for wearing a yarmulke; an Orthodox woman walking with her three-year-old son attacked from behind: “you f—ing Jew,” the assailant says, “your end is coming.”

Politicians in New York and Washington responded by doing the conventional things politicians do. Congress put another $30 million into a grants program to harden security at religious sites. Jewish leaders called on social media to crack down on anti-Semitic hate speech. The Trump Administration, acting on a toxic mix of anti-Israel actions and anti-Semitism on American campuses, issued an executive order expanding interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to cover Jews in academic settings.

New York’s solutions: money, cops, education. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $45 million in new funding to protect religious institutions. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio boosted the police presence in neighborhoods with large Jewish populations and announced the creation of new safety coalitions. The head of his Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes said she would focus on education programs in schools.

The New York response quickly became mired in disputes. Critics noted that Cuomo’s “new” $45 million for security funding in fact already was in last year’s budget. De Blasio’s hate crimes office seems oddly adrift, understaffed and underfunded. And the mayor himself took to the radio waves to blame anti-Semitic acts on “right-wing forces.”

De Blasio’s remarks came in the wake of the kosher market killings and underscored why so many New Yorkers find him such a tiresome wretch—the market murders had zero connection to right-wing ideology. Ditto the Hanukah attack. But the two incidents seemed to crystalize the anti-Semitic moment we find ourselves in: a time of anti-Jewish trends at home and abroad converging from various points on the ideological spectrum, sped up in an age of global social media, often ending in bloodshed. There’s no telling how long the moment will last or what will happen next, but history is not reassuring.

Until next week …