A judge told lawyers for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, D., Monday to provide a declaration by the end of the week as to whether her policy of only granting interviews to journalists of color was still in effect or would be in the future.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch asked the court for an injunction against Lightfoot’s policy last week, saying it was unconstitutional, but Lightfoot’s attorneys said at a remote hearing Monday that the policy was not in effect and the request was unnecessary, according to reports.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Lightfoot on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation last month, alleging Lightfoot violated White reporter Thomas Catenacci’s equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when she didn’t respond to multiple requests for interviews, as well as his First Amendment rights.
Lightfoot sparked outrage when she said last month she would only grant interviews to reporters of color upon the two-year anniversary of her taking office, while admonishing Chicago’s City Hall press corps for its “overwhelming whiteness.”
Judicial Watch lawyers protested that Lightfoot had provided no evidence that her denial of Catenacci’s interview requests was not based on race, according to the Daily Caller, leading Judge John Z. Lee to order Lightfoot’s team for a clarification of its policy by week’s end.
According to the complaint filed with the courthouse, Catenacci sent Lightfoot emails on May 20, May 21, and May 24, requesting interviews about her administration’s efforts to vaccinate Chicagoans and other coronavirus issues. The lawsuit alleges Lightfoot “purposefully discriminated” against Catenacci because of his race, according to her own stated policy.
Lightfoot has been sharply criticized for the policy, with some observers calling it discrimination disguised as progressivism and even racist.
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