Most of Florida’s GOP congressional delegation have demanded that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland explain why federal law enforcement officials must police local school board meetings.
In a letter to the Democratic attorney general, the Republican lawmakers note that this is the latest example of President Joe Biden’s “disturbing” trend of politicizing federal law enforcement. And they want answers.
The lawmakers point to a memo Garland sent to federal officials about working with local school board members to control angry or unruly parents. That directive came in response to a request by the National School Boards Association, which sought Biden’s help in equating parents who object to liberal policies with domestic terrorists.
Garland’s memo, they wrote, “fails to identify particular federal crimes that have been committed, and makes no effort whatsoever to cite federal legal authority justifying intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and its various sub-agencies in matters that, at most, fall within the jurisdiction of local law enforcement.”
“Despite these deficiencies, you direct the full weight of the federal law enforcement apparatus to be used to ‘discourage these threats,’ which appears to be a thinly veiled effort aimed at chilling constitutionally protected speech.”
The letter added, “A disturbing trend has come to light in recent months, but it is not the constitutionally protected speech and lawful assemblies of concerned parents that the Memorandum erroneously attempts to cast as criminal conduct. Rather, this Administration, with the full support of the DOJ, has engaged in an alarming pattern of declining to enforce existing laws it is duty-bound to uphold, while attempting to invent new legal authorities that have dubious statutory support and no foundation in the U.S. Constitution.”
“The recently issued Memorandum is merely the latest example of this disturbing trend of politically motivated interventions by the nation’s top law enforcement agency,” the lawmakers argued.
They presented Garland with a series of questions to answer by Oct. 29.
Among other things, the lawmakers want to know what federal laws are being broken at these sessions, whether local law enforcement officials requested federal help, and if Garland worked with the school boards association in crafting his memo.
In the letter, the lawmakers noted, “School administrators, board members, and teachers are public servants, but in fulfilling those important roles they are not immune from scrutiny for decisions and actions that affect our children.”
“Indeed, accountability is a hallmark of public service and, contrary to your mischaracterization of events at school board meetings as criminal threats against public servants, we are seeing parents across the country demand accountability from those charged with the critical task of educating our children.”
“To be clear, we condemn any acts of violence or lawlessness, and support the work of local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute criminal actors to the fullest extent of the law,” they continued.
“However, when it comes to the education of our children, parents are constitutionally entitled and morally justified to demand accountability for the use of harmful curricula, such as Critical Race Theory, which is rooted in cultural Marxism and neo-racist doctrine that sows division and hostility toward “others” at a time when our country desperately needs unity. Such divisive concepts have no place in our great nation, much less in the schools we trust to educate our children.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and Reps. Kat Cammack, Michael Waltz, Carlos Gimenez, Bill Posey, Neal Dunn, Brian Mast, Gus Bilirakis, Maria Elvira Salazar, and John Rutherford.
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