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From Judicial Watch:

Pelosi Congress Assault on Election Integrity Raises Constitutional Questions
Lawsuit: 2,400 Illegal Alien Criminals Released under San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Sanctuary Policy
Judicial Watch Sues Georgia Secretary of State for Records about Changes to Processing of Absentee Ballots in 2020 Election, and 2021 Trump/Raffensperger Call
Fauci Update: Judicial Watch Sues for NIH Funding and Other Records Tied to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology
Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data

Pelosi Congress Assault on Election Integrity Raises Constitutional Questions

Robert Popper is a Judicial Watch senior attorney who served as the deputy chief of the voting section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2008 to 2013. In the following op-ed for The Hill he reveals the massive power grab the Left plans on elections across the land:

Ever since House Resolution 1, the Democrats’ 886-page partisan wish list of a voting bill, passed the House on a party-line vote earlier this month, its critics have had a lot to say. They correctly point out that the bill federalizes election law on a historically unprecedented scale, systematically impairs existing federal and state laws concerning election integrity, and imposes new burdens and restrictions on political speech and activity. All of this is apparent from the text of the bill.

Less obvious — indeed, almost hidden from anyone who does not specialize in voting law — is a provision of H.R. 1 requiring states to draw federal congressional districts in a way that favors Democrats: “Districts shall comply with the Voting Rights Act … including by creating any districts where two or more politically cohesive groups protected by such Act are able to elect representatives of choice in coalition with one another.” The bill adds that districts must “ensure the practical ability” of such groups to “elect representatives of choice … regardless of whether or not such protected group constitutes a majority” of a district.

“In coalition with one another” — these innocent-seeming words are, in fact, an attempt to reverse particular rulings of the Supreme Court and compel the drawing of what are known as “coalition” districts specially constructed to ensure Democratic majorities.

The checkered history of coalition districts is bound up with cases interpreting Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which forbids any practice that causes members of a racial group to “have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.” This clause has long been interpreted to forbid at-large elections where these allow a racial majority to dominate a racial minority.

Here is how this might happen: In an at-large election for, say, a city council of seven members, every member is elected by the entire population of the city; if voting is racially polarized, a racial majority of only 55 percent of the city’s voters has the power to elect all seven council members, effectively denying the large minority any representation whatsoever. The remedy for this kind of violation of Section 2 is the imposition of electoral districts. These allow the city-wide minority a chance to prevail locally in at least a few of those districts. But before compelling such a remedy — that is, before throwing out a jurisdiction’s chosen electoral system and imposing a district plan — the Supreme Court logically requires that a racial minority at least have a chance of forming a majority in one of the new districts.

In the intervening years, the plaintiffs suing to enforce Section 2 have most often been Black or Hispanic voters. In any particular jurisdiction, they may not have sufficient numbers to make up a majority in a new district. Further, many of these voters tend to vote for Democrats, and the requirement that they be placed in districts where they can form a majority often conflicts with the desire of Democratic operatives that they be placed strategically to maximize the party’s electoral chances.

Enter the concept of coalition districts. Suppose there are too few black voters to form a majority in a new district. The idea is that, if enough white voters join them, or if enough Hispanic or other minority voters join them, and if this “coalition” is large enough to constitute a voting majority in that district, then drawing it becomes legally necessary to ensure minority voters’ opportunity “to elect representatives of their choice.”

This is a transparent partisan trick. What special interest do minority voters in such a district share with other minority or majority voters who may join them to form a majority? The only answer is that they all intend to vote the same way.

Indeed, drawing such a coalition district seems to reduce to a mandate to “find as many Democrats as you can and put them in a district.” An ideological preference cannot be enshrined as a voting right. As Richard Pildes put it in 2002, a “statute aimed at counteracting discrimination in voting would thus be transformed into a substantive, partisan entitlement to office.”

In Bartlett v. Strickland in 2009, the Supreme Court rejected the idea that white votes could be combined with Black votes to constitute a majority in a Section 2 remedial district. As Justice Kennedy observed, Section 2 does not grant “special protection to a minority group’s right to form political coalitions.” And in Perry v. Perez in 2012, the court implied that the same reasoning would bar the drawing of a “minority coalition opportunity district” in which “two different minority groups” were expected “to band together to form an electoral majority.”

Now, H.R. 1 seeks to revive this bad idea and to make it federal law. Like so much else in the bill, it is sure to be subject to legal challenges — in this case, for blatantly favoring the electoral prospects of one party and one viewpoint.

Lawsuit: 2,400 Illegal Alien Criminals Released under San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Sanctuary Policy

If you want to know the danger sanctuary policies produce, look no farther than San Francisco, where criminals are permitted to roam free.

We have sued to overturn the San Francisco Sheriff’s sanctuary policy, and our suit revealed that more than 2,400 criminal illegal aliens were released under the department’s policy on communications with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about criminal illegal aliens in the Sheriff’s custody. (Cynthia Cerletti v. Vicki Hennessy, Sheriff (No. CGC-16-556164)). A hearing in the court challenge is scheduled for April 5.

We note in a recent court filing that the Sheriff’s office’s policy “is so effective in regulating immigration and obstructing Congress’ purposes under federal immigration law that, in over 2,401 known instances, it has never resulted in ICE taking into custody a single alien, not even aliens with significant criminal backgrounds wanted for removal.”

This is the latest action in the December 2016 lawsuit we brought on behalf of California taxpayer Cynthia Cerletti. Our lawsuit argues that the Sheriff Department’s restrictions on communications with ICE conflict with federal immigration law and attempt to regulate immigration and are therefore invalid.

Our recent filing includes expert testimony that details specific examples of egregious criminal behavior of illegal aliens that the Sheriff’s office had in custody who were released without consultation with ICE:

  • A citizen of Cuba faced charges for burglary and a parole violation, with a prior burglary conviction.
  • A citizen of Vietnam faced charges for robbery, battery, and assault.
  • A citizen of Ethiopia was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a peace officer, receiving stolen property, a parole violation, and had prior convictions for stolen property crimes.
  • A citizen of Mexico had a long list of current and prior offenses, including convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, felony assault, false imprisonment, burglary, vehicle theft, and probation violations, including one revocation of probation. This individual appeared to have been arrested at least nine times between January 2015 and March 2020.
  • A citizen of Honduras was facing instant charges of burglary.  His 5-page rap sheet included prior convictions on felonies such as burglary while in possession of a concealed, loaded firearm, giving false information to an officer, child endangerment, theft, domestic violence, robbery, assault, and violating a restraining order.
  • Another citizen of Mexico was facing instant charges of robbery, domestic violence and assault and also was the subject of an ICE detainer and warrant of arrest after a biometric match with DHS records. The alien had three recent, separate, prior felony convictions: two for auto theft and one for burglary, which had occurred over a 15-month period ending two and one-half years prior to the instant offense.
  • A citizen of Ukraine was arrested and held to answer for a felony burglary charge, along with false imprisonment, receiving stolen property, threatening an officer, and a firearms charge. Two years prior, he was convicted on a robbery charge, among other offense.
  • Another citizen of Mexico was held to answer on felony burglary charges, false imprisonment, and adult kidnapping charges. The alien had prior burglary convictions, one occurring one year prior to the instant charge, and another occurring four years prior, for which he was sentenced to 364 days plus probation.
  • A citizen of Cambodia was facing instant charges for assault with a deadly weapon, murder, and a loaded firearm violation.

In December 2017, the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County overruled the San Francisco Sheriff Department’s move to dismiss this lawsuit.

In rejecting the Sheriff’s attempt to end the lawsuit, presiding Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn wrote there is “sufficient support at this stage of the case for Cerletti’s allegation that the Sheriff’s policy prohibiting or restricting release information about suspected priority aliens stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment of Congress’ asserted purpose of enabling federal immigration officials to gain access to inmates who may have violated federal immigration laws.”

Our taxpayer lawsuit shows that the San Francisco Sheriff’s sanctuary policy is not only unlawful but is also a clear and present danger to the public safety.

Judicial Watch Sues Georgia Secretary of State for Records about Changes to Processing of Absentee Ballots in 2020 Election, and 2021 Trump/Raffensperger Call

The election in Georgia last year was controversial, to say the least, and we want to know more about what happened behind the scenes. 

Consequently, we filed two Georgia Open Records Act lawsuits against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for records related to: 

(1) the March 6, 2020 consent agreement regarding the processing of absentee ballots in the November 3, 2020 general election (Judicial Watch v. Brad Raffensperger (No. 2021 cv 347236)); and 

(2) the January 2, 2021 telephone call between Raffensperger and President Trump (Judicial Watch v. Brad Raffensperger (No. 2021 cv 347237)).

We filed the first lawsuit after Secretary of State Raffensperger failed to respond to a November 17, 2020 request for:

All records related to the March 6, 2020 Consent Agreement entered into by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and others relating to the processing of absentee ballots by the Secretary of State in the November 3, 2020 general election, including but not limited to emails regarding the agreement sent to and from Raffensperger, State Election Board Vice Chair Rebecca N. Sullivan, State Election Board Member David J. Worley, State Election Board Member Matthew Mashburn, and/or State Election Board Member Anh Le.

Our second lawsuit seeks:

All emails sent to and from Secretary of State Raffensperger, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs and General Counsel Brian Germany regarding the January 2, 2021 telephone call between President Trump, Secretary Raffensperger and others concerning alleged election fraud in Georgia.

On March 6, 2020, Raffensperger and other Georgia officials signed a consent decree with the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that critics contend improperly weakened anti-fraud measures related absentee ballots.

In an hour-long telephone call on January 2, 2021, President Trump and Raffensperger discussed Trump’s concerns about voter fraud in Georgia. The conversation became controversial after Raffensperger’s office allegedly leaked a recording of the call to the Washington Post.

Here’s some background.

In April 2020, we identified thousands of persons who may have registered to vote in Georgia at non-residential addresses. We shared its data with Raffensperger’s office at the time and requested an investigation. On January 5 of this year, we announced that, of this list of voters who may have registered using non-residential addresses, 4,700 voted absentee in the 2020 presidential election. Georgia law requires that citizens registering to vote must reside “in that place in which such person’s habitation is fixed….”

We have been busy elsewhere. In 2020, as you know, we sued North CarolinaPennsylvania, and Colorado for failing to clean up their voter rolls and also sued Illinois for refusing to disclose voter roll data in violation of federal law. These lawsuits continue. We also has filed dozens of public records requests in multiple states about the 2020 election.

Hiding key records about a controversial absentee ballot settlement agreement and leaking the President Trump’s phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state prevents Americans from knowing the full story and deciding for themselves whether the outcome in Georgia was fair.

Fauci Update: Judicial Watch Sues for NIH Funding and Other Records Tied to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology

You know Dr. Anthony Fauci is a federal bureaucrat with immense and, too often, unaccountable political power. But he and his agency will face accountability thanks to a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for National Institutes of Health (NIH) records of communications, contracts and agreements with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00696)). The lawsuit specifically seeks records about NIH grants that benefitted the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

We sued after the NIH denied our April 22, 2020, FOIA request for:

  1. All NIAID communications regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China;
  2. All agreements, contracts and related documents between NIAID and the Wuhan Institute of Virology; and
  3. All records, including agreements, funds disbursement records and related NIAID communications regarding a reported $3.7 million in grants provided by NIH to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In April 2020, the Daily Mail reported that documents “show the Wuhan Institute of Virology undertook coronavirus experiments on mammals captured more than 1,000 miles away in Yunnan – funded by a $3.7 million grant from the US government.”

The NIH in April 2020 suspended funding a grant to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance that “had previously established a partnership with a virology laboratory in Wuhan, China” but in August gave the EcoHealth Alliance a grant of $7.5 million. The grant will reportedly “focus on Southeast Asia and the emergence of coronaviruses; filoviruses, the family responsible for Ebola; and paramyxoviruses, a family of viruses that includes measles and mumps.”

In March 2021, we uncovered HHS/NIH records that show NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020. Additionally, the records reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIAID Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Cliff Lane.

In October 2020, we received records from the HHS that show Dr. Fauci approved a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

For almost a year now, Dr. Fauci’s agency has stonewalled our lawful request for information about the agency’s connections to the controversial Wuhan lab. The American people have a right to know about Dr. Fauci’s agency’s involvement with the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology

 

Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data

The risks to everyday Americans from actions by Chinese government seem to be increasing every day. Judicial Watch is committed to getting answers about the China threat that a compromised Washington, DC (see Hunter Biden) would rather ignore. 

I expect will get some insight from a FOIA suit we filed against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) seeking records of the OPM’s Federal Executive Institute’s personnel classes and seminars in China and any records of communications concerning the 2014 breach of OPM data by hackers working for the Chinese government, which compromised the personal information of some 22 million Americans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (No. 1:21-cv-00646)).

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after OPM failed to reply to a December 11, 2020, FOIA request for:

Any and all promotional materials, admission applications, invitations to apply, enrollment documentation, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all course catalogs, syllabi, agendas, training and briefing materials, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all contracts, including Personal Service Contracts, awarded by the Office of Personnel Management to support the operations of the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1,2012.

Any and all materials used to provide security briefings to any student, faculty member, instructor, or other employee or contractor assigned on a permanent or temporary basis to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any official, employee, or representative of the government of China and/or any other Chinese national regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.

Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China that contain the terms “breach,” “security,” or “SF-86” between March 1, 2014 and January 20, 2017. This request includes, but is not limited to, any such communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Federal Executive Institute, a training center for executives of U.S. government agencies, includes an International Leadership Development Program that for years sent U.S. officials to China for training.

We’re seeking information on Federal Executive Institute operations in China between September 2009 and September 2012.

An April 28, 2010, report from the Chinese propaganda outlet People’s Daily Online described how a group of 20 U.S. officials selected by the Federal Executive Institute went to Tsinghua University in China for “a one-week intensive training program” that included lectures on China’s communist system.

In the hacking matter, the OPM revealed in June 2015 that it was the target of a “cyber intrusion” in which the personnel records of 22.1 million people were compromised. The OPM was targeted in two linked attacks, the first in March 2014 and the second in May 2014.

Sending federal employees to communist China for “training” seems like reckless risk to our national security. And the hack, likely by China, of the Obama administration’s sensitive personnel records of millions of government employees is a scandal that our government would like to cover up but for which we are seeking answers now in federal court.

Until next week …

The post New Election Lawsuits appeared first on Judicial Watch.

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