Judicial Watch announced it filed a brief yesterday in support of its request for a preliminary injunction to immediately prevent Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot from denying Daily Caller News Foundation reporter Thomas Catenacci’s interview request on the basis of race. The filing comes in response to an admission filed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office last week that confirms her office engaged in a two-day “press tour” involving six interviews that was “exclusively” limited to “journalists of color.”
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after Catenacci, a white journalist, emailed Mayor Lightfoot’s office requesting a one-on-one interview with the mayor. The office never replied to the request or to two additional follow-up emails from Catenacci. Catenacci’s request came on one of the days that the mayor admittedly was discriminating based on race.
The lawsuit and subsequent preliminary injunction request assert that Lightfoot’s refusal to be interviewed by Catenacci violates the Daily Caller News Foundation’s and his First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection. In its most recent filing, Judicial Watch notes its journalist clients continue to suffer irreparable injury because of Mayor Lightfoot’s admitted racist interview policy:
While other journalists may be relieved that Mayor Lightfoot has asserted that she will not discriminate against them on the basis of race going forward, the mayor’s assertion that she has stopped discriminating on the basis of race does nothing to remedy the irreparable harm Plaintiffs suffered on May 20, 2021 and continue to suffer. And absent an injunction or other order of this Court, nothing compels Mayor Lightfoot from not discriminating on the basis of race in the future. A preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent continuing irreparable harm caused by Mayor Lightfoot’s violation of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection.
“Mayor Lightfoot admits she discriminated based on race on the day I requested an interview,” said Thomas Catenacci. “The Court gave her the chance to say she didn’t discriminate against me because I am white. She did not do so. Every day my interview request is not granted because of my race, my Constitutional rights are violated. This is simply unacceptable,”
“Mayor Lightfoot should just grant our interview request and commit to never again discriminate on the basis of race,” said Daily Caller News Foundation Editor-in-Chief Ethan Barton. “What’s to stop her from using this racist policy to block the freedom of the press in the future?”
“Mayor Lightfoot confessed to a racist interview policy,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The court should refuse to give Mayor Lightfoot a day pass for racial discrimination and issue an injunction immediately protecting our clients and the public this outrageous abuse.”