Judicial Watch Takes Legal Action Against Government

Judicial Watch Takes Legal Action Against Government

(RightWing.org) – Judicial Watch is a non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency within the government, politics, and the judiciary. The group fulfills its mission in large part by filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against government officials and agencies. The organization recently took legal action against the federal government.

On February 28, Judicial Watch filed a civil complaint against the US Department of Homeland Security to compel its compliance with a previous FOIA request submitted to one of its components, the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA).

Judicial Watch filed its original request on December 12, 2022, and received a response dated a week later acknowledging CISA’s receipt of the request. The letter also invoked a 10-day extension for providing any non-exempt documents for “unusual circumstances” — a standard procedural move under FOIA.

However, as of the date of the filing of the civil complaint, CISA failed to “determine whether to comply with the request,” or to “notify” Judicial Watch that it made “any such determination or the reasons” why, or to advise the group of its “right to appeal [an] adverse determination,” or to “produce the requested records” minus any exempt documents.

The complaint alleged the Department of Homeland Security violated the FOIA and asked the court to order the agency to provide any non-exempt documents by a predetermined date, to enjoin it from refusing to provide records, and to award Judicial Watch attorneys fees.

Judicial Watch Seeks Communications Between US Government and Social Media Platforms

According to the complaint, Judicial Watch’s document request included “all records and communications” related to meetings facilitated or hosted by CISA between the US government and social media companies “concerning election security” between “January 1, 2019 [and] the present.”

The relevant Homeland Security officials included CISA Director, Jen Easterly, former Director Chris Krebs, and two senior cybersecurity advisors. Likewise, the request also listed Meta, Facebook, Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

On April 11, One America News aired an interview with Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch’s director of investigations. He told host John Hines that the requested documents from the FOIA action could show collusion or cooperation between CISA and social media companies to suppress free speech on their platforms.

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