Washington, D.C.—Democracy Forward filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today demanding the Trump Administration disclose the White House’s role in banning federal agencies from using certain words and phrases in documents related to President Trump’s 2019 budget.
The demand for records was filed on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equity, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Partnership for Women & Families, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. If the Administration fails to adequately comply with the demand, Democracy Forward intends to file suit.
“Let’s be clear: The Trump Administration’s directive to erase certain words is a thinly veiled attempt to erase certain people in the eyes of the federal government,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “In the context of President Trump’s budget, it’s a dangerous effort to deny certain Americans resources they need and protections they are owed under the law.
The nine organizations filed the request in response to highly concerning reports that the Trump Administration banned agencies from including certain words in budget-related materials, including the terms “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Given the Administration’s conflicting responses about the origin, purpose and implementation of the word ban, the groups are seeking all communications from President Trump’s political appointees at the Office of Management and Budget on the directive and are seeking records of any other efforts to censor language.
Democracy Forward is nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.
December 7, 2018