Judicial Watch announced today it filed a notice of appeal
to the Supreme Court of Delaware, asking for a reversal of the opinion of the Superior Court of Delaware, which is blocking a state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for access to records about President Joe Biden's senatorial records held by the University of Delaware. Biden's papers include more than 1,850 boxes of archival records from his senate career.
The appeal comes in Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation's lawsuit
filed after a Delaware Attorney General's opinion denied access
to the records (Daily Caller News Foundation v. University of Delaware
(No. N20A-07-001)). The Delaware FOIA lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware on July 2, 2020.
is challenging the Superior Court of Delaware's January 4, 2021, ruling upholding the Delaware state attorney general's opinion that the records are not "public records" because, the opinion concludes without evidence, no public funds are used to support the Biden records project at the University of Delaware.
Judicial Watch responded in court that it is impossible for the housing of Biden's senatorial records in the University of Delaware's Library to not be supported by any public funds. Judicial Watch noted that the University admitted that "[t]he State of Delaware provides the University with approximately $120 million each year through an appropriation in the state budget," but has yet to show how public funds are not used to support the papers.
Judicial Watch further pointed out that "archival storage space and professional staff members' time are things of value that it can be inferred are paid for with public funds," and notes that the requests even listed the "University personnel who maintain the Senatorial Papers whose salaries, it can be inferred, are paid with State funds." Judicial Watch requested that the Superior Court order the University to search for and produce the requested records.
"We have no idea why the University of Delaware is hiding these materials that the public should have every right to see and we are grateful for Judicial Watch and our local counsel for pushing this case hard. When people ask why our institutions are no longer trusted they should look up this case," said Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel.
"There is significant public interest in the special deal between Joe Biden and the University of Delaware that is keeping Biden's Senate records completely secret," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Delaware law is explicit in requiring state entities, including the University of Delaware, to provide public access to these records."
Judicial Watch filed its FOIA lawsuit
after the University denied its April 30, 2020, request for:
All records regarding the proposed release of the records pertaining to former Vice President Joe Biden's tenure as a Senator that have been housed at the University of Delaware Library since 2012. This request includes all related records of communication between the University of Delaware and any other records created pertaining to any meeting of the Board of Trustees during which the proposed release of the records was discussed.
All records of communication between any representative of the University of Delaware and former Vice President Biden or any other individual acting on his behalf between January 1, 2018 and the present.
On April 30, the Daily Caller News Foundation submitted its FOIA request to the University for:
All agreements concerning the storage of more than 1,850 boxes of archival records and 415 gigabytes of electronic records from Joe Biden's senate career from 1973 through 2009.
Communications between the staff of the University of Delaware Library and Joe Biden or his senatorial, vice-presidential or political campaign staff, or for anyone representing any of those entities between 2010 [April 30,2020] about Joe Biden's senate records.
Any logs or sign-in sheets recording any individuals who have visited the special-collections department where records from Joe Biden's senate career are stored between 2010 to the date of this request.
All records from Joe Biden's Senate career that have been submitted to the University of Delaware Library.
Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation are being represented by Delaware lawyers Ted Kittila and Bill Green of Halloran Farkas + Kittila LLP.