Tom Fitton

Judicial Watch Claims Voting Rights Suit Is Plot To Legalize Non-Citizen Voting

The right-wing group Judicial Watch has filed an amicus brief in support of Kansas and Arizona’s effort to add an extra, burdensome proof of citizenship requirement to federal voter registration forms in their states. A new law requiring citizenship documents to register has created a huge mess in Kansas, where tens of thousands of residents have been left with incomplete registrations and Secretary of State Kris Kobach has instituted a two-tiered voting system allowing some people to vote in federal elections but not state elections.

The Election Assistance Commission has been fighting Kobach’s effort to expand his law to federal forms, noting that his extra proof-of-citizenship requirement would deter far more eligible voters than the tiny number of illegal votes it would prevent. (The EAC’s filing to the Tenth Circuit notes that Kansas claims to have found 21 cases of noncitizens registering or attempting to register to vote in the state, although the EAC implies that the actual number is even lower. Meanwhile, 18,000 citizens have had their registrations suspended thanks to the new law.)

In an op-ed for Brietbart News today, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton argues that the Obama administration is fighting Kobach’s effort not because they want to protect voting rights, but as part of a sneaky plot to legalize noncitizen voting in all federal elections.

Fitton, of course, ties this to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the U.S. border, echoing Louie Gohmert’s claim that the president will encourage the refugee children to commit voter fraud. 

One of the many negative downstream consequences of illegal aliens flooding across the border is the increased possibility of voter fraud. Obama and his leftist allies are committed to thwarting any effort by states to protect the integrity of the voting process that would prevent illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals from voting.

As CIS points out, every single state in the United States legally bars non-citizens from voting in national or state elections. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, signed into law by President Clinton, made it a crime for any non-citizen to vote in a federal election.

This is a fact so basic and so well-documented, says CIS, that 94% of fourth graders tested on the question of whether or not non-citizens could vote got the question correct.

So why are leftists inside the Obama administration in the bottom 6% of a fourth grade class? It’s certainly not because they don’t understand the law. They understand it perfectly well. It’s because they don’t agree with the law, want to change it, and know they would not have a snowball’s chance in you-know-where driving that kind of legislation through Congress. So they do what they always do: Ignore the law, go to court, and hope judges allow them to get away with the lawlessness.

You also should know that the campaign to allow non-citizens to vote is a national effort that has already borne fruit. Per CIS: “there are several municipalities in the United States that currently allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. Moreover, legislation to allow non-citizens to vote has been introduced in a number of states and localities including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City.”

Kansas and Arizona, however, were not willing to “play ball” with leftists who boldly court non-citizen voting. And that’s why they (and we) are active in court.

Paranoia-Rama: CPAC Edition

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxesBenghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories:

5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare

NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites” have conspired against gun owners and conservatives in general, working to “punish anyone who disagrees.”

“The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination and NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media,” he said.

Even though crime rates have been falling steadily since the 1990s, LaPierre described his dark vision of an America in which happy and peaceful neighborhoods have been transformed into places of violence and death filled with “knockout-gamers.”

4) IRS Just As Bad As Deposed Leader Of Ukraine

Plenty of CPAC speakers have mentioned the crisis in Ukraine as a supposed failure of President Obama, but Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch went as far as comparing the Obama administration to the government of overthrown Ukrainian president and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports that Fitton told attendees of CPAC’s “IRS Targeting Scandal: Protecting the Voice of the People” panel that Obama’s IRS, which has been falsely accused of targeting conservative groups, is operating much like how the Yanukovych government violently suppressed anti-government protesters: “People are dying in the streets in Ukraine. People being oppressed by the political regime. That's what the IRS was doing.”

3) Trump’s Immigration Solutions

Donald Trump seems to think Jimmy Carter is dead, and that the US may die too if Congress passes immigration reform. The real estate mogul told CPAC yesterday that immigration reform would mean that America would no longer exist, as immigrants flood into the country, destroy the GOP and “take your job.”

2) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration of CPAC

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney hosted an alternative CPAC event yesterday, prompted in part by worries that the right-wing gathering has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood through Republican activists such as Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Gaffney joined other conservatives in denouncing Norquist and Khan as Muslim Brotherhood agents who are advancing “civilization jihad” and undermining America.

Diana West yesterday took to WorldNetDaily to warn CPAC that Norquist and Khan are “a pair of influential men with track records of working with America’s enemies – Islamic organizations the U.S. government has linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and larger world of jihad.” She claimed that they are allied with those who hope “to destroy the United States and transform what is left into an Islamic-ruled land,” and pushed the Muslim Brotherhood “straight into the inner sanctum of the Bush White House.”

1) President Obama Is George Wallace

When the Justice Department challenged Louisiana’s voucher scheme over evidence that the program would resegregate the state’s schools, conservatives were unsurprisingly outraged. At CPAC today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Religious Right leader Ralph Reed likened President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.

Judicial Watch: Obama and Holder's 'Racial Extremism' Behind Zimmerman Trial

As Dave Weigel writes today, the right-wing media’s newest race-baiting theory around the George Zimmerman trial is that the Department of Justice organized the rallies calling for justice after Trayvon Martin’s death.  This theory is based on documents “unearthed” by the right-wing Judicial Watch that don’t say what Judicial Watch says they do.

But the theory fits right in to the Right’s preferred narrative of the Zimmerman trial, so it’s stuck. In an interview with NewsMax radio host Steve Malzberg yesterday, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton predicted that if Zimmerman is acquitted of murdering Martin, the Justice Department will then go after him. “Given the racial extremism of this president and this Justice Department, not only Mr. Holder and his civil rights division, it wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.

“There’s nothing neutral about this Justice Department…when it comes to race matters,” Malzberg said.


Malzberg: There’s nothing neutral about this Justice Department, and we’ve heard that from people who have worked, career Justice employees, when it comes to race matters. We’re talking to Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, here on the Steve Malzberg show. And let me ask you this, and I’m just asking your opinion, obviously. If there’s an acquittal in the Zimmerman trial, I think certainly, at least legally speaking, the door is still open for the Justice Department to pursue him with civil rights violations. And do you believe that that would be the case?

Fitton: Well, I don’t know, because, I would be very worried if I were Mr. Zimmerman, because we’ve also asked for documents from the Justice Department civil rights division, and we’ve gotten back, saying, the proverbial hand to the face, saying, ‘No, these are documents created for law enforcement purposes.’ So it seems like there has been, at least at one point, an active investigation. And, you know, given the racial extremism of this president and this Justice Department, not only Mr. Holder and his civil rights division, it wouldn’t surprise me. If I were betting, I’d bet they would try to do something, yes.

Malzberg: Yes, especially to quell what unfortunately, almost universally, experts, especially down in Sanford, Florida, and many others around the country, are expecting will be a horrific reaction on the streets of Sanford, of Miami and possible of other cities around the country. So, like you say, you know, I wouldn’t want to be George Zimmerman in any way, shape, or form, with this Justice Department and with this state prosecution, which is obviously politically motivated.
 

Geller Out, But Anti-Muslim Voices Remain at CPAC

Pamela Geller will not be welcomed back to CPAC this year, representing yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement.

During her panel last year, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force bragged that he was “proud” that many of the attacks on mosques in the U.S. have occured in the South.

But while Geller might be absent this year, CPAC still is hosting a number of anti-Muslim speakers:

1. Allen West.

Former congressman Allen West became a hero of the Radical Right through his inflammatory remarks about Islam, including his claim that the “enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion,” and that the Quran commands people to become terrorists. West has worked with Geller before (even writing a column for her blog) and told one of her conferences that “the nation goes to war against an ideology and we’ve been talking about the fact that we are against something that is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology and it is called Islam.” He also said that “satellite organizations that come from the Muslim Brotherhood” are growing throughout the US.

2. Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton has been on a mission to “expose” how the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department are all working together with radical Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood. In a recent interview with End Times radio host Rick Wiles, he argued that the State Department is recruiting people directly from “the jihadist movement here in the United States” and “terrorist front organizations,” adding that the majority of Muslim-American groups are “all fronts for these terrorist front groups.”

Fitton also told Wiles that he agreed with Rep. Michele Bachmann’s anti-Muslim government witch hunt as “perfectly legitimate” and said that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin may be connected to people who are security threats.

3. Newt Gingrich.

Former Speaker Gingrich praised the anti-Muslim witch hunt spearheaded by Bachmann and four of her fellow Republican colleagues, calling the group of congressmen the “National Security Five.” He consistently attacked the Muslim community during his presidential campaign and claimed that Muslims in the US are trying to impose Sharia law. He even argued that the US should respond to Saudi Arabia’s ban on churches by banning the Park 51 Islamic Community Center in New York, and said that the government should treat Muslims like Nazis. Gingrich has also warned that America’s “elite favors radical Islam” and that the media is covering up stories about “Obama’s Muslim friends.”

4. Rick Santorum.

While running for president, former U.S. Senator Santorum claimed that equality is incompatible with the Islamic faith and that Muslims should face profiling by law enforcement. He also raised doubts about Obama’s Christian faith and a top aide accused the President of supporting “radical Islamic policies.” Following the campaign, he became a columnist for the anti-Muslim conspiracy website WorldNetDaily. Before running for president, Santorum told a conference hosted by Islamophobic activist David Horowtiz that America is engaged in a “long war” with “Islamo-fascism” and that it must be “eradicated.”

5. Ted Cruz.

Sen. Cruz has claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the U.S. and attacked President Obama for allegedly being “utterly unable to utter the words radical Islamic terrorist.” Cruz especially stoked anti-Muslim attitudes during the confirmation hearing of defense secretary Chuck Hagel, maintaining that the former Republican senator may be a pawn of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

CPAC: A few more scenes from off-Broadway

The main themes from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were not terribly surprising to anyone paying attention to the GOP presidential primary.  According to CPAC speakers, President Obama is a “socialist, Marxist president” bent on destroying the country and the Constitution, and the nation will not survive if he is re-elected.  “Compromise” is a four-letter word. Health care reform is tyranny. Contraception is tyranny. TSA searches are tyranny.  You get the idea.

But there were also moments of insight into aspects of the conservative movement, often coming from smaller rooms and panels, like actor Stephen Baldwin’s declaration that “separation of church and state can kiss my ass” and the anti-multicultural, anti-diversity discussion which featured the founder of a white-nationalist website. Here are a few additions to the excellent RWW coverage of CPAC by Kyle and Brian.

Screw the Vote

As we have reported, Republicans are waging aggressive voter suppression campaigns across the country, including voter ID laws and voter registration restrictions supposedly needed to prevent “voting fraud.”  At CPAC, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton hosted a press conference to talk about the group’s  “Election Integrity Project,” which is suing states that Judicial Watch says have not done enough to clean up their voter registration lists.  Panelists claimed that “rampant election fraud” took place in the last two election cycles – there’s no real evidence to back up that claim – and complained that the Obama administration’s Justice Department is selectively enforcing the Voting Rights Act.  Fitton said that having the DOJ meet with representatives from Project Vote and ACORN is “like having the mafia running the FBI.” Another speaker represented True the Vote, an outgrowth of Houston Tea Party group King Street Patriots, which hosted a fundraising event last year with a speaker who believes:

Registering [poor people] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

True the Vote is backing states whose voter ID laws have been challenged by the Justice Department and recruiting volunteers to challenge signatures gathered by those seeking to recall Wisconsin’s anti-labor governor Scott Walker.

The Federal Government’s War on Clean Underwear

It is an article of faith among many right-wing activists and candidates that health, safety, and environmental regulations are oten unconstitutional and are destroying the American economy.  Americans for Tax Reform and its affiliate Cost of Government Center sponsored a panel dubbed “The Red Tape War: How the Regulatory Burden and Growing Nanny State Threaten Prosperity.” The group’s Mattie Duppler described regulation as an ongoing “war on consumers and taxpayers.”  Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute said that energy efficiency regulations had caused a steep decline in the quality of top-loading washing machines, and talked about a campaign his group had run to have people send virtual underwear to the undersecretary of the Department of Energy. (Turns out that campaign was in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration)

Beyond Obstructionism to Nullification

One Newt Gingrich campaign theme has been pledging that as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions he disagrees with and abolish the jobs of federal judges who don’t share his view of the Constitution.  A couple of groups at CPAC – the Tenth Amendment Center and the Foundation for a Free Society – held a series of events to promote nullification, the idea that the states should similarly ignore federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional.  In fact, they want to go far beyond ignoring such laws.  Speakers introducing a documentary on nullification praised an Arizona bill that would not only declare the federal health care law null and void in the state, but would also make any agent of the government who tries to enforce the law guilty of a felony.  The documentary featured state legislators as well as speakers from the Oath Keepers and the John Birch Society.

Here Sharia Comes!

Pamela Geller hosted a panel on Sharia, at which speakers complained about the room they were given and about their supposed mistreatment at the hands of CPAC – though other panels met in the same room and the “Islamic Law” panel was listed in the conference program.   Geller and fellow panelist Robert Spencer attacked panelists from a previous, more thoughtful, panel on religious liberty which defended the religious rights of American Muslims.  Also speaking was North Carolina congressional candidate Ilario Pantano, who said he was once charged with murder for killing terrorists in Iraq [charges were dropped] and who denounced “political correctness run amok.” Pantano praised discredited “historian” David Barton for telling the “truth” about America’s founding and called the misnamed “Ground Zero Mosque” a “desecration of an American holy site and an American national battlefield.”

Civics Education = David Barton, the Bible, and American Exceptionalism

In a panel on civics education, Matthew Spalding, VP for American Studies at Heritage Foundation praised the battle over textbook standards in Texas, in which David Barton and other Religious Right activists pushed to infuse far-right ideology into social science books.  

Those are the battles that matter, especially big states because they control the textbooks. Texas had a great battle, and the media hated it, the left went crazy, but it’s an extremely reasonable curriculum improvement, and they focus on very good things. It’s a solid, good model….Civic education is not just in the classroom. You must understand the effect that public discussion about these questions, about history and about the meaning of our country affect politics, politics affects elections, elections affects state boards and things that make the curriculum.

Another panelist, Larry Schweikart, author of Patriot’s History of the United States, argued that civics education must be grounded in “American exceptionalism.”

All of the founders understood that the bible and biblical virtues were necessary to a good education, and a civic order. So once again it comes down to those four pillars of American exceptionism: common law, a predominantly Christian religion, property rights, and free markets.

 Limit Government, Not Campaign Speeches

One of the final sessions before Sarah Palin’s closing remarks was intended to give a number of congressional candidates challenging Republican incumbents the chance to make 5-minute speeches.  A couple candidates were shortchanged by the fact that Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, running to unseat Sen. Richard Lugar, took about twice as much as his allotted time and Ted Cruz, running against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP Senate primary, ran even longer. 

Mourdock devoted his speech to the need for conservatives to “conquer”  - conquer the media, educators, advocates of reproductive choice, big-spenders, anyone who thinks America is just an “average” nation, and all who “wish to crush our traditional American values,” presumably including 35-year Senate incumbent Lugar.  Repeated Mourdock again and again, “Conquer we must!”

Cruz, who was also given time at last year’s Awakening Conference at Liberty University, argued that liberty is under assault like never before, that President Barack Obama is the “most radical president this country has ever seen,” and that the U.S. Senate is the key battleground.  Cruz, who hopes to follow in the electoral footsteps of Florida’s Marco Rubio, is like Rubio the child of Cubans who came to the U.S. in the 1950s.  Cruz brags that he is the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey, and called his primary “ground zero” in the battle between the Tea Party and the GOP’s “moderate establishment.”

 

WallBuilders Sponsoring Next Tea Party Convention?

Considering that Glenn Beck has been working diligently to turn WallBuilder's David Barton into the official "historian" of the right-wing Tea Party/912 movement, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the organization would be signing on as one of the sponsor of the next National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas ... at least that is how it appears, judging by this press release from Tea Party Nation

The Tea Party Unity Convention will be the most powerful political event of the summer as we network and empower attendees for the November 2010 elections.

Convention spokesman, Judson Phillips said, "We look forward to working with World Net Daily, Resistnet, The Leadership Institute, Judicial Watch, Numbers USA, Wall Builders, Voices of America, NAACCP, NC Freedom, The Dallas Tea Party, The Heritage Foundation, Chicago Young Republicans, National Tea Party Federation and others in this fight."

Featured speakers and participants include: Lou Dobbs, Joseph Farah, Andrew Breitbart, Neal Boortz, SE Cupp, Michael Reagan, Jonathan Kahn (Jon David), Lloyd Marcus, Frantz Kebreau, Ken Blackwell, Mark Thiessen, Ana Puig, Barbee Kinnison, Amy Kremer, Darla Dawald, Tom Fitton, Richard Viguerie, Michael Patrick Leahy, David DeGerolamo, Erika Franzi, Dr. B. Leland Baker, Bishop EW Jackson, Dr. William Forstchen, Fred Houck and Melody Kite.

Topics to be covered: Achieving Unity, Combating Racism Allegations, How to Raise $50,000 in 90 days For Your Tea Party Group, Fair Tax, Emergency Preparedness, Attracting and Keeping Young Activists in the Movement, Community Organizing, Women in the Tea Party Movement, Losing Our Religion, Freedom of Information Act and Open Government Laws, How to do Voter Registration Drives and Where to Find Conservative Voters.

I have to say that organizers have a real knack for getting fringe Religious Rigth activists to speak at their conventions - last time it was Rick Scarborough of Vision America, and this time it is EW Jackson:

 

Bishop E.W. Jackson is, even by right-wing standards, something of a fringe figure. He seems to have some ties to Rick Scarborough and appeared on Janet Porter's radio program not too long ago.

He is also Founder of Exodus Faith Ministries and last year founded something called Staying True to America's National Destiny [S.T.A.N.D] and was among the participants at the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally last year, where he railed against the legislation as the result of a "virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred."

 

But today, Jackson announced his most grandiose plan yet with the formation of the STAND AMERICA PAC though which he is "declaring political war on the Democrat Party and the liberal Congressional Black Caucus" as part of an effort to end the deception that is causing the black community to support the "Coalition of the godless."

Terry Launches 12 City "Defeat Sotomayor" Tour

The Associated Press published an article today reporting that, with just a week to go before the start of Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, "Republicans are floundering" and conservatives are getting miffed that their efforts to undermine her nomination have not be gaining traction:

Conservative advocates [are] not happy.

“Too many Republicans and conservatives planned to lose instead of planning to win” the debate over Sotomayor, said Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. His group has mounted strong opposition to the federal appeals court judge.

About half the Senate’s Republicans are willing to raise serious questions about Sotomayor and there’s “a sizable minority who — partly because she’s Hispanic — just want this to go away,” said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice.

Conservative groups have sought to convince Senate Republicans that they can benefit politically by strongly opposing Sotomayor. But many of their leaders complain the message isn’t getting through.

Randall Terry, for one, isn't going to let this slow him down and so he is taking his "Defeat Sotomayor" effort on the road for a twelve city tour which is scheduled to culminate in Washington DC just as the hearings are getting under way (the photo below comes from this accompanying flyer [PDF and graphic content] proclaiming "To refuse to filibuster is to bow in abject obedience to the Angel of Death"):

"We must stop permitting this hypocrisy, cowardice, and treachery in our midst. Pro-life voters are calling on pro-life Senators to filibuster Sotomayor.

"A Senator cannot say, 'I want to overturn Roe,' and then vote to confirm a Supreme Court Judge that will uphold Roe. A vote to confirm Sotomayor is a vote to uphold Roe.

"Many senators use pro-life rhetoric to seduce us; they get our money, our volunteer labor, and our votes. But once an election is over, they discard us like an embarrassing mistress. They say that they want to overturn Roe, but they do little or nothing to protect the innocent. Whether they are 'pro-life' Republicans like John McCain (AZ) and Sam Brownback (KS), or pro-life Democrats like Ben Nelson (NE) or Robert Casey (PA), we have been lied to again and again.

"Whether they 'have the votes' to sustain a filibuster or not, they need to fight to stop her, for the sake of the babies who will die under her judicial reign.

Filibuster Sotomayor Tour

Mon. July 6 --

Omaha, NE
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
The Regency Lodge
909 South 107th Avenue
Omaha, NE 68114

Tues. July 7 --

Omaha, NE
10:00 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Nelson to Filibuster Sotomayor
Office of Senator Ben Nelson
7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114

Lincoln, NE
12:00 noon Press Conference, Calling on Senator Nelson to Filibuster Sotomayor
Office of Senator Ben Nelson
440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508

St. Joseph, MO
3:30 PM Press Conference Calling on Senator Christopher Bond (R) & Senator Claire McCaskill (D) to Filibuster Sotomayor, and calling on MO Bishops to enter the fight against Sotomayor.
City Hall
1100 Frederick Ave.
St. Joseph, MO 64501

Kansas City, KS
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
location TBD

Wed. July 8 --

Kansas City, KS
9:30 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of Senator Sam Brownback
11111 West 95th, Suite 245
Overland Park, KS 66214

Topeka, KS
11:30 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of Senator Sam Brownback
612 South Kansas Avenue
Topeka, KS 66603

Wichita, KS
2:45 PM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of George Tiller
5107 East Kellogg
Wichita, KS 67218

Thurs. July 9 --

Philadelphia, PA
12:00 PM Press Conference, Pleading with Cardinal Rigali to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Chancery of Cardinal Justin Rigali
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Allentown, PA
3:00 Press Conference, Pleading with Bishop John Barres to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Diocese of Allentown Administrative Office
4029 W. Tilghman St.
Allentown, PA 18105-1538

Wilkes-Barre, PA
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
The Beer Deli Restaurant
175 Welles Street
Forty Fort, PA 18704
(570) 288-8141

Fri. July 10 --

Scranton, PA
10 AM Press Conference, thanking Bishop Martino for his brave stand, and pleading with him to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Office of Bishop Joseph F. Martino
300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

Harrisburg, PA
12:00 Noon Press Conference, Calling on Senator Casey to Filibuster Sotomayor - to put loyalty to God and the babies' lives ahead of party loyalty.
Office of Senator Robert Casey, Jr
22 S. Third Street, Suite 6A
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Baltimore, MD
2:30 PM Press Conference, Calling on Archbishop O'Brien to withhold communion from Senator Barbara Mikulski because of her support of child-killing.
Basilica of the Assumption
408 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD‎ 21201

Sun. July 12 --

2:30 P.M. Rally
Supreme Court
Washington DC

Mon. July 13 --

At Sotomayor hearings.

Understanding The "Birthers"

"Birthers" is the term Politico uses for those right-wing conspiracy theorists who continue to insist that President Obama is not a native-born citizen and therefore ineligible to hold the office of president in this new article examining their claims and conspiracy theories.

The article covers key figures like Alan Keyes, Orly Taitz, and Phil Berg and doesn't break any new ground, but does contain several interesting tidbits, such as Taitz's assertion that the media's refusal to take their claims seriously is "totalitarian" and the fact that the Keyes camps doesn't like to be associated with the Berg camp due to the latter's claims that 9/11 was an inside job - apparently that type of conspiracy theorizing only serves to undermine the Keyes camp's own conspiracy theorizing.

And then, of course, there are the conservatives who think this whole movement is making them all look bad:

"Untold numbers of people have asked us to look into it," said Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, which recently sued to block Hillary Clinton, on technical grounds connected to her Senate seat, from taking the position of secretary of state.

"When we sued over Hillary ineligibility there were a lot of folks saying, 'Why weren't you suing over Obama's ineligibility?'" he said..

Fitton said he hadn't "seen any credible evidence Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen eligible for the presidency."

"If people understood better what the law is, I don't think they'd be as concerned as they are," he said.

...

"I'm not a conspiracist, but this could be a very big conspiracy to make conservatives disgrace themselves," [Michael] Medved said.

Frankly, considering Judicial Watch's own history, when they say that these people are a bunch of crackpots, it is probably safe to assume that they are indeed a bunch of crackpots.

Of course, the crackpots don't see it that way, and now WorldNetDaily is blasting the article for mocking them: 

[This Politico article] cites WorldNetDaily as the source for news on the United States Justice Foundation's most recent attempt to demand Obama give legal evidence of his constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

Politico's coverage of the questions that still linger over Obama's birth, however, is far from kind.

...

As WND has reported on several occasions, however, none of the so-called "evidence" of Obama's constitutional eligibility produced thus far is beyond reasonable doubt nor as iron-clad as simply producing an authentic birth certificate, something everyday Americans are required to do regularly, but the president still refuses to do.

The War at Judicial Watch

Every once in a while, Legal Times produces a lengthy article that pulls back the curtain and take a look behind the public rhetoric of some right-wing group to expose the sometimes sordid dealings that are going on internally.

Back in 2005, it published just such a piece about Jay Sekulow and his work at the American Center for Law and Justice yet, oddly, the article generated very little coverage and Sekulow continues to ply his trade at the ACLJ to this day. 

With that in mind, I doubt that this new article about the in-fighting that it taking place at Judicial Watch will generate much coverage, though it certainly should as it contains a variety of allegations regarding financial improprieties and maritial infidelity, primarily on behalf of the organzation's founder Larry Klayman:

The quarrel stretches back to Sep­tem­ber 2003, when Klayman announced he was leaving Judicial Watch to stage a Senate campaign in Florida, which would ultimately end with him finishing last in the Republican primary. In his April 2006 complaint, Klayman alleged that before departing as chairman, he had discovered that [current Judicial Watch president Tom] Fitton had never earned a college degree. According to the complaint, Fitton allegedly promised to find a “distinguished and qualified” chairman to lead the group, but instead grabbed control of Judicial Watch and tried to push his former boss out of the public spotlight.

As he put it in an affidavit filed later in the case, Klayman believed that Fitton had done “everything he could to harm and financially weaken” Klayman to keep him from taking back command of the group. Among the complaint’s many allegations, Fitton had supposedly threatened media organizations with legal action to keep Klayman off the air, fired employees loyal to Klayman, and damaged his reputation with former clients. The complaint also contended that Judicial Watch had lied on its tax forms by claiming that Klayman owed it money.

All the while, the complaint alleged, the organization’s war chest under Fitton’s management shrunk to between $8 million and $9 million, down from about $20 million when Klayman left.

Judicial Watch shot back with a counter­claim accusing Klayman of failing to cover the debts he had accumulated as chairman and of violating the terms of his severance agreement. As part of a negotiated goodbye package, Judicial Watch had paid Klayman a total of $600,000, including $200,000 in return for signing a noncompete clause, according to the counterclaim. By founding Freedom Watch, Klayman had violated that part of the contract, the counterclaim stated. And by waging a public campaign to oust Judicial Watch’s current leadership—an effort that included letters to Judicial Watch donors, ads in major newspapers, and a Web site titled savingjudicialwatch.com—Klayman had also allegedly broken a clause barring him from disparaging the group, while infringing on a handful of trademarks along the way, the counterclaim alleged.

The June 2006 document also suggested a different reason for Klayman’s departure, stating that “Judicial Watch discovered circumstances that necessitated Klayman’s resignation from the organization.” The group made its meaning explicit in May 2007, when it filed an amended version of its counterclaim stating that Klayman had been forced to resign after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a Judicial Watch staffer. Judicial Watch alleged that the relationship was about to come to light because of Klayman’s impending divorce, meaning he would no longer be able to serve as the head of a “pro-family” organization. The document also referenced accusations by his ex-wife, with whom Klayman is locked in a bitter child custody battle, that he had physically assaulted her.

Right Already Plotting to Tie Obama Up in Court

One of the things that Republican politicians start complaining about during election cycles is "lawsuit abuse," the idea that trial lawyers are clogging the judicial system with pointless lawsuits in order to extort money from corporations and other public entities. 

But for some reason, they never seem to complain about groups like Judicial Watch which, asPolitico notes, for many years existed almost solely for the purpose of harassing the Clinton administration, along with the Clintons themselves, and is dusting off its briefs now that Hillary Clinton is poised to become Secretary of State and preparing to get back to its incessant lawsuit-filing roots:

[Last week, Judicial Watch President Tom] Fitton announced his group was considering filing suit to prevent Hillary Clinton’s Foggy Bottom appointment, based on the Ineligibility Clause of the Constitution ... this latest saber-rattling over the secretary of state appointment calls to mind the habits of the [Larry] Klayman era. Thus, the Clinton world collectively took a heavy sigh last week as some Clintonites wondered aloud whether Hillary Clinton’s nomination and the cast of former Bill Clinton staffers in Obama’s White House could breathe new life into Judicial Watch.

...

As the group ponders its latest legal action, it still awaits a pending FEC complaint it filed back in April against the junior New York senator over a fundraising event where Elton John performed. The complaint alleged that John wasn’t permitted to help Clinton raise money because he is not a citizen of the United States. (Fitton notes that his organization had also filed a similar suit against John McCain, after he hosted a fundraising event in London. That case was dismissed.)

Also, last week a Judicial Watch investigator went down to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., to comb through papers that had been released on account of a Freedom of Information suit. The group expects more papers to be released in the future.

Fitton defends his group against charges that its litigation is excessive and political.

“We don’t file our lawsuits unless we think we’re going to win them and we’re pleased by the attention brought to our lawsuits,” Fitton says.

Jake Siewert, who served as Bill Clinton’s White House press secretary, tells Politico that they "initially underestimated the amount of damage that [Judicial Watch] could do through the press and nuisance lawsuits," which is a lesson I hope that he has imparted to the incoming White House staff, who'll not only have to deal with these Judicial Watch's lawsuits, but seemingly an avalanche of lawsuits from the conspiracy theorists who still refuse to accept that Barack Obama is qualified to become the next president.

As Alan Keyes' running mate, Wiley Drake, tells the OC Weekly, that they intend to make this issue dog the Obama administration "much like the Monica Lewinsky controversy dogged the rest of Bill Clinton’s presidency":

[I think] it will be even more so than the Lewinsky thing. I think it will dog him because one of our attorneys, Gary Kreep [of the United Justice Foundation] said we will do everything we can to fight this battle. If we win this case, we will keep him out of the White House. If we lose, Gary and his committee of lawyers, and many of us are supportive of this, if Mr. Obama is indeed inaugurated, we will file a lawsuit against the inauguration for being illegal and against the chief justice of the Supreme Court for swearing in a usurper. And then, typically on the first day of office, the president signs a bunch of bills. Every bill or document he signs, we will file a separate lawsuit. For every decision he makes, it’s gonna to be tied up in court.

CPAC: Judiciary Activists Attack 'Undermedicated, Psychotic Lefties'

While yesterday’s segment at CPAC devoted to judicial nominees – featuring Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), who can count few fans at the event – was sparsely attended, even fewer showed up for today’s panel discussion on “judicial activism” instead of joining the crowds for Mike Huckabee and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA down the hall. Still, Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, and a man named Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation did their best to keep the attention of the handful of conference-goers on the subject that was one of the most vigorously touted at last year’s CPAC.

The enemies remained the same: judges who “legislate from the bench” and believe in a “living Constitution” which they “write … at will,” and senators who opposed some of Bush’s extreme nominations or who participated in the “Gang of 14” deal that halted the march toward the “nuclear option,” which would have forced through a rule change eliminating filibusters on those nominations. Fitton said of the filibustered nominees that “liberals thought they were too conservative, and yes, too Christian.” LaRue described as “undermedicated” and “psychotic” Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with groups like People For the American Way that opposed confirmation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

The judicial heroes were also familiar: Roberts and Alito, whose successful appointment LaRue called the “biggest grassroots victory” in years; Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Fitton described as a model for “humble judges” who “restrain themselves.” In addition, Kreep singled out Janice Rogers Brown, perhaps the most radical of Bush’s appellate nominees, for her success in getting on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. According to Kreep, Brown was targeted because of her race by the Democratic Party, “one of the most racist” groups in country, which he said opposes any minority who doesn’t “kiss their tuckuses” and “say ‘yessa massa.’”

Facts Optional When It Come to Judges

As we have noted before, there appears to be something about the issue of judicial nominations that makes the Right take leave of their senses.  

For example, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough frets about the Democratic take-over of the Senate in January but insists that, despite the election results, “the American people elected George W. Bush in 2004 with the expectation that he would keep his campaign promise to nominate judges” who share the Right’s agenda regardless of which party controlled the Senate and is urging him to ignore calls to nominate any sort of “compromise” candidates.

To this end, Scarborough claims

 

When Clinton was president, there was no talk of compromise candidates. Our 42nd President put hard leftists like Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the bench.

 

The only thing that can be taken from this ridiculous claim is that Scarborough either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the facts because, as Senator Orrin Hatch recounted in his autobiography, at a time when Democrats controlled the Senate and he was merely the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, President Clinton still conferred with him when it came to potential nominees for the Supreme Court

Our conversation moved to other potential candidates. I asked whether he had considered Judge Stephen Breyer of the First Circuit Court of Appeals or Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. President Clinton indicated he had heard Breyer’s name but had not thought about Judge Ginsberg.

I indicated I thought they would be confirmed easily. I knew them both and believed that, while liberal, they were highly honest and capable jurists and their confirmation would not embarrass the President. From my perspective, they were far better than the other likely candidates from a liberal Democrat administration.

In the end … he nominated Judge Ginsburg and Judge Breyer a year later, when Harry Blackmun retired from the Court. Both were confirmed with relative ease.

Scarborough is not the only one who seems oblivious to history, no matter how recent. In Human Events, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton writes that

 

Liberals in the Senate have turned the judicial confirmation process on its head, obstructing the President’s judicial nominees for political reasons. They even resorted to launching judicial filibusters, ignoring the constitutional directive to provide up-or-down votes on all judicial nominees. Why? Not because the nominees were unqualified. But rather because they didn’t like the nominees’ philosophy of judicial restraint.

 

As we have noted repeatedly, if folks on the Right are really concerned about judicial nominees being denied a vote because one or more senators don’t “like the nominees’ philosophy,” perhaps they can start hounding Sen. Sam Brownback to lift his hold on the nomination of Janet Neff -  a hold that Brownback says is going to continue indefinitely

“I’m still looking at the Neff situation, and I will in the future,” Brownback said.

Neff has said she attended [a same-sex commitment ceremony] as a friend of one of the two women, a longtime neighbor.

Neff has declined to answer Brownback’s queries on whether the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage or civil unions, saying it would be improper to address questions that might come before her as a federal judge.

Brownback called gay marriage a developing area of the law best not left to the judiciary anyway.

“To me these issues should be decided by the legislative bodies, not by the judicial bodies, and it seems to me this may indicate some view of hers on the legal issue. And that’s what I’m concerned about here, is her view of the legal issue involving same-sex marriage,” Brownback said.

One has to marvel at Scarborough’s willingness to claim that there is no need for consultation or compromise on Supreme Court nominees despite the standard set by Hatch and Clinton - and Fitton’s willingness to blast Democrats for opposing nominees based on philosophy at a time when Brownback is doing exactly that.   

Never let it be said that the Right will let pesky things like facts get in the way of their partisan polemics.

Judicial Watch Wants LA Police to Crack Down on Immigrant Workers

Judicial Watch, the litigation group most famous for its “blizzard” of lawsuits against the Clinton administration, is suing the Los Angeles Police Department over its policy of not asking witnesses or suspects about federal immigration status. The policy, which dates from 1979, is designed to let immigrants use city services – enrolling their children in school or reporting a crime to the police, for example – without fear of deportation. But rather than citing some kind of concern over immigrants with criminal backgrounds,  Judicial Watch’s target is immigrants looking for work. Criticizing the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups that have intervened in the case, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton writes:

The ACLU contends that illegal immigrants ought to be able to congregate on street corners seeking illegal jobs without fear of police intervention. (Can you believe they actually intend to advance this argument in a court of law?!) Judicial Watch, of course, believes federal immigration laws must be enforced. We want the court to grant an injunction preventing the LAPD from spending any additional taxpayer funds in carrying out or enforcing Special Order 40.

While it is unclear how forcing the LAPD to enforce federal immigration laws will save money, using local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration status – a tactic seen in the wave of Hazleton-like anti-immigrant ordinances passed in a number small towns this summer – is part of the “new strategy” outlined by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) in lieu of Congress embracing a national crackdown.

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Tom Fitton Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Tuesday 07/15/2014, 1:32pm
The right-wing group Judicial Watch has filed an amicus brief in support of Kansas and Arizona’s effort to add an extra, burdensome proof of citizenship requirement to federal voter registration forms in their states. A new law requiring citizenship documents to register has created a huge mess in Kansas, where tens of thousands of residents have been left with incomplete registrations and Secretary of State Kris Kobach has instituted a two-tiered voting system allowing some people to vote in federal elections but not state elections. The Election Assistance Commission has been... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/07/2014, 2:20pm
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right. This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxes, Benghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories: 5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 07/12/2013, 1:46pm
As Dave Weigel writes today, the right-wing media’s newest race-baiting theory around the George Zimmerman trial is that the Department of Justice organized the rallies calling for justice after Trayvon Martin’s death.  This theory is based on documents “unearthed” by the right-wing Judicial Watch that don’t say what Judicial Watch says they do. But the theory fits right in to the Right’s preferred narrative of the Zimmerman trial, so it’s stuck. In an interview with NewsMax radio host Steve Malzberg yesterday, Judicial Watch president Tom... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/05/2013, 4:14pm
Pamela Geller will not be welcomed back to CPAC this year, representing yet another development in annual conservative gathering’s frequent clashes over Islamophobia. Anti-Muslim activists like Geller, David Horowitz, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer claim that the Muslim Brotherhood and its cohorts, namely Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, are trying to infiltrate the conservative movement. During her panel last year, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force bragged that he was “proud” that many of the attacks on mosques in the U.S. have occured in the South.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 02/13/2012, 5:32pm
The main themes from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were not terribly surprising to anyone paying attention to the GOP presidential primary.  According to CPAC speakers, President Obama is a “socialist, Marxist president” bent on destroying the country and the Constitution, and the nation will not survive if he is re-elected.  “Compromise” is a four-letter word. Health care reform is tyranny. Contraception is tyranny. TSA searches are tyranny.  You get the idea. But there were also moments of insight into aspects of the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 05/24/2010, 1:05pm
Considering that Glenn Beck has been working diligently to turn WallBuilder's David Barton into the official "historian" of the right-wing Tea Party/912 movement, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the organization would be signing on as one of the sponsor of the next National Tea Party Unity Convention in Las Vegas ... at least that is how it appears, judging by this press release from Tea Party Nation:  The Tea Party Unity Convention will be the most powerful political event of the summer as we network and empower attendees for the November 2010 elections... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/06/2009, 10:38am
The Associated Press published an article today reporting that, with just a week to go before the start of Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, "Republicans are floundering" and conservatives are getting miffed that their efforts to undermine her nomination have not be gaining traction: Conservative advocates [are] not happy. “Too many Republicans and conservatives planned to lose instead of planning to win” the debate over Sotomayor, said Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. His group has mounted strong opposition to the federal appeals court judge.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/02/2009, 12:27pm
"Birthers" is the term Politico uses for those right-wing conspiracy theorists who continue to insist that President Obama is not a native-born citizen and therefore ineligible to hold the office of president in this new article examining their claims and conspiracy theories. The article covers key figures like Alan Keyes, Orly Taitz, and Phil Berg and doesn't break any new ground, but does contain several interesting tidbits, such as Taitz's assertion that the media's refusal to take their claims seriously is "totalitarian" and the fact that the Keyes... MORE >