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Judicial Watch Obtains Award In Court Decision

by Tom Fitton

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Judicial Watch Uncovers Shocking New FDA Documents Related to Gardasil

Those of you who regularly read this column know that Judicial Watch has taken the lead in exposing the ugly truth about the dangerous side effects associated with Gardasil, the vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV) currently being administered to young girls.

Well this week, we released a special report based on new "adverse event reports" and other information obtained from the FDA under the Freedom of Information Act. These reports document 10 reported deaths since September, 2007. (The total number of death reports is at least 18 and as many as 20.) The FDA also produced 140 "serious" reports (27 of which were categorized as "life threatening"), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome – all since January 2008.

Here are a few excerpts from the documents we uncovered. The rest can be read in our report. (Warning: These descriptions get very graphic.)
Information has been received…concerning a 20 year old female with no medical history reported, who on 01-APR-2008 was vaccinated with a dose of Gardasil….The patient died four days after…patient sought unspecified medical attention. An autopsy was performed which ruled out suicide and anything suspicious. The cause of death is currently unknown. VAERS ID: 310262-1 (D) Cold sweat, Fall, Foaming at mouth, Grand mal convulsion, Immediate post-injection reaction. . .Pt [patient, 14-year-old female] received vaccine, took 6 steps, fell to the ground unconscious and had a 60 sec grand mal seizure then regained consciousness. [Blood pressure] after seizure 60/40 pale clammy skin. [Patient] had bit her tongue and had foam around her mouth. VAERS ID: 305259-1 (S)

Information has been received from a physician concerning a female patient who on an unknown date was vaccinated with a dose of Gardasil. Subsequently, the patient experienced a coma and is now paralyzed. At the time of this report, the patient's outcome was unknown. VAERS ID: 303188-1
Would you allow your daughter to have this vaccine when these are the potential consequences? I know I wouldn't. If Merck has its way, however, we might not have much of a choice. Merck had been lobbying to have the vaccine mandated for young girls and some politicians seemed willing to oblige. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already recommended that 11 and 12-year-old girls begin receiving the vaccine as part of school vaccination efforts. (Following the CDC's lead, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order last year mandating the vaccine for 6th grade girls. Parent groups fought the mandate and the mandate was rescinded.)

Moreover, according to a recent article in The Washington Post, Merck plans to lobby the FDA to approve the vaccination for young boys as well. (Right now, the vaccination is approved for girls/young women from ages 9 to 26. Just last week, the FDA rejected Merck's attempt to expand the use of the vaccination for women 27 and older. Merck plans to reapply.)

These developments make our report all the more relevant. Read it for free by clicking here, and then be sure to send the link to your friends, family members and colleagues.

Judicial Watch Obtains Award for Attorneys Fees in Lawsuit Related to Senate Majority Leader Reid

On June 27, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded attorney's fees to Judicial Watch in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management [Judicial Watch v. Bureau of Land Management, Civil Action No. 07-1570 (RCL)]. As you might recall, Judicial Watch sued the agency for documents related to a massive real estate development project in Coyote Springs, Nevada involving Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Judicial Watch launched an investigation after news reports suggested Reid greased the wheels for the real estate deal in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors from lobbyist and long-time friend Harvey Whittemore. (In addition to donating $45,000 to Reid's campaigns, Whittemore also hired Reid's son Leif to handle negotiations on the Coyote Springs deal. Leif Reid even called his father's office to talk about obtaining the proper permits. Talk about a conflict of interest!)

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) and then-Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV), who now serves as Governor of Nevada, are also implicated in the deal. Ensign and Gibbons both supported the Coyote Springs project at key stages, and also received campaign contributions from Whittemore.

Although Judicial Watch has been awarded attorneys fees before, let me tell you why this court ruling is especially important. This is the first decision by a judge for the District Court for the District of Columbia, which handles approximately half of all FOIA lawsuits, under the Open Government Act of 2007, signed into Law by President Bush on December 31, 2007.

Why is this significant?

Well, in order to obtain attorneys fees under any Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the person or organization seeking documents must "substantially prevail" in the lawsuit. The Open Government Act expanded the definition of what it means to "substantially prevail."

Before the law was enacted, the requestor could essentially only prevail if the court issued an order or judgment against the government agency. To skirt the law, however, government agencies continued to stonewall the process by withholding documents up until the very last minute before a court order was to be imposed against them. The agencies played this game to avoid having to pay attorneys fees. Now they'll pay. Thanks to the Open Government Act, the requestor can prevail if the government agency changes its position, even if a court order has not been issued. For further (independent) commentary on this decision, click here.

Judicial Watch's lawsuit, and this court decision, will help to establish judicial precedent for other organizations seeking the release of government documents. In other words, this is a victory for Judicial Watch and for open government. To review the court decision, click here.

Judicial Watch Needs You!

I trust, through these Updates, you realize the value of Judicial Watch's good work against government corruption and for the rule the law. Whether it is battling illegal alien sanctuary policies in court, holding to account shady politicians of all political stripes, shining a light on our government, or generally being your "watchdog" in Washington – Judicial Watch is "the only the game in town" for conservatives and other fair-minded Americans who truly believe that "no one is above the law." I know many of you already financially support our work and for that I'm grateful. Each day we rely upon the ongoing support of the American people to continue our important work. To be blunt, fundraising slows down in the summer for obvious reasons, but our court cases and investigations continue. And corruption never takes a holiday.

These are critical times: as politicians gun for reelection or higher office this year, the watchdog role of your Judicial Watch is essential.

I ask you to strengthen our cause and make a financial contribution to Judicial Watch here.

Thank you in advance for your support, and I wish you and yours a wonderful Fourth of July holiday.

Until next week…

Tom Fitton

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