Court Rules Against LAPD: Special Order 40 Lawsuit to Move Forward

A significant victory was won last week by Judicial Watch in its campaign to stop local law enforcement agencies from undermining federal immigration laws.

California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled against the Los Angeles Police Department in its attempt to halt Judicial Watch’s lawsuit challenging Special Order 40, a policy that prohibits police officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status and reportedly restricts police officers from fully cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Here’s what the Judge Treu had to say about the LAPD’s “demurr” (motion to dismiss): “The parties have expended a great deal of energy arguing their substantive claims here on demurrer.

However, in a demurrer, the sole issue is whether the facts pleaded, if true, state a valid cause of action. [Judicial Watch’s] complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action…to withstand demurrer. The demurrer is therefore overruled.”

I covered this case fairly extensively last week, so I won’t go into too much detail with respect to the various legal arguments. However, I do encourage you to read the judge’s ruling for yourself. And feel free to visit our Special Order 40 summary page on the Internet for more information.

This case now moves to discovery and I will have much to report in the coming weeks.

Gaithersburg, Maryland Abandons Day Laborer Site after JW Issues Warning

On Tuesday, July 25, Judicial Watch put the Mayor of Gaithersburg, Maryland on notice that the town’s proposed tax-payer funded day laborer site may be illegal.

“While the intentions behind the proposed facility may be well-meaning, we are concerned that operation of the proposed facility may violate federal employment and immigration laws and/or aid, abet, or otherwise facilitate and encourage the violation of such laws,” wrote Judicial Watch Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes in a letter sent both by email and express mail. “We remain hopeful, however, that taxpayer resources will not be misused to operate a day laborer facility in an unlawful manner.”

Judicial Watch got its wish the following evening when the Gaithersburg Town Council voted the proposal down avoiding an almost certain legal confrontation. While both sides of the debate were able to voice their opinions during the hearing, according to the press, public sentiment ran about “5 or 6 to 1 against a county-funded site.” So, town officials did the right thing and voted down the proposal. Perhaps they saw what happened in Herndon, Virginia, where Town Council members and the Mayor were bounced from office after supporting a day laborer site with taxpayer funds. Politicians tend to take notice of such things.

Corruption Runs in the Clinton Family

Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, won’t be visiting the ATM anytime soon. The Washington Times reported yesterday that “Rodham has been barred from accessing his bank account while a bankruptcy trustee demands that he repay more than $100,000 in loans from a carnival company whose founder was pardoned by President Clinton.”

Here is a quick summary of how all of this transpired, along with how it relates to a scandal Judicial Watch began investigating six years ago.

In March 2000, President Clinton pardoned Edgar Gregory, Jr. and his wife, Vonna, for a 1982 bank fraud conviction. Legal filings show that just two months after the Clintons issued the pardon, Gregory’s carnival company, United Shows, began dispersing payments to Hillary’s brother, Anthony Rodham, totaling $107,000. These payments were supposed to be loans, but Rodham never paid the money back. (One may question whether or not he was ever expected to pay them back at all.) Unfortunately for Rodham, the company went bankrupt in 2002, and control of its finances transferred to a court appointed trustee, who then began to try to recoup the payments.

The case eventually wound up in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A consent order filed on Tuesday prevents Rodham from accessing the $142,000 he currently has in his bank account, pending a hearing next month.

Of course, Anthony Rodham is not the only Hillary Clinton relative to be caught up in the Pardongate scandal. Hillary’s other brother, Hugh Rodham, took $400,000 in payments from two convicted criminals to help secure presidential pardons from former President Clinton. He supposedly returned the money.

Overall, in the last day of his presidency, Bill Clinton granted 140 pardons and commuted 36 sentences, many of them to convicted felons who had paid large fees to Clinton associates. Judicial Watch launched an investigation of the controversial Clinton pardons in January 2001. Unfortunately, for more than five years the Bush administration has stonewalled the investigation and refuses to this day to turn over documents related to Pardongate. In addition to continuing to try to obtain these documents, we plan to try to get more facts about the shady dealings of Hillary’s brother. On the face of it, it seems like a pardon was purchased through Hillary Clinton’s brother.

Judicial Watch Joins Coalition Pushing for Vote on Bush Judicial Nominee

There is a lot of blame to go around with respect to the U.S. Senate’s blocking of many of President Bush’s judicial nominees. Liberals in the Senate, who are philosophically opposed to the president’s nominees, are playing games with the judicial confirmation process. Republicans, for their part, have allowed it to happen and have even participated to some degree, and it has to stop.

For this reason, this week I signed a letter, along with 80 other conservative activists, to leaders of the Republican Party calling for an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Judge Terrence W. Boyle, President Bush’s selection for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Boyle has the dubious distinction of being the president’s longest waiting nominee. In fact, he was first nominated 14 years ago by President H.W. Bush, but was never given a hearing by then-Democrat Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden.

This time around, however, Judge Boyle received his hearing and his nomination was discharged by the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is long overdue for an up-or-down vote in the Senate. So what’s the hold up?

Apparently, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-enn.) is sitting on the nomination, refusing to bring the nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. The letter, delivered to Senate Republican leaders on July 25, is an attempt to persuade Republican leaders to put pressure on Senator Frist.

Here’s a brief excerpt: “We ask that you join our members in supporting Judge Boyle’s nomination and vote to confirm Judge Boyle immediately. Throughout the unprecedented delay in Judge Boyle’s confirmation process, he and his family have no doubt endured much. Such treatment and delay by the Senate does great harm to the ability of any president to recruit good men and women to serve on the federal judiciary. This harms the criminal justice system.”

If you want to add your voice to ours, please feel free to contact Senator Frist directly. Here is his contact information: Office of Senator Bill Frist, 509 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510; Tel: 202-224-3344, Fax: 202-228-1264. Click here to send Senator Frist an email.