Republican leaders are calling upon the Supreme Court to stop labeling protesting parents as "domestic terrorists."
Five months after Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo that addressed the National School Boards Association's concerns over outspoken parents, eight senators signed a new letter calling upon the Department of Justice to stop calling parents "domestic terrorists" for speaking for their kids. Although Garland's memo does not in fact use the words "domestic terrorists," the Republican senators believe it targets parents who speak out about their children's education and safety in school.
"Our country is experiencing an uptick in actual violent crime...but instead of cracking down on crime, you decided to target parents advocating for their children," the letter read in part, as per CBN News. The letter also pointed out how several major cities in the U.S. achieved new homicide records in 2021 and how "illicit drugs" continue to come into the border.
"This no doubt continues to have a chilling effect on parents' participation at school board meetings as parents are afraid to attend these meetings for fear of being investigated," the senators argued in the letter.
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana proposed that AG Garland should have already retracted the memo since its release in October 2021, despite denying that the terms "domestic terrorists" were ever used in the memo. Sen. Braun argued that AG Garland "needs to be held accountable" because he serves as the "chief enforcement officer across the country" that must "take a stand on an issue like that."
"Some would say that is not necessary ... some of us think it is," Sen. Braun concluded. The letter was led by Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, and was co-signed by Senators. Braun, Ted Cruz of Texas, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, John Boozman of Arkansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
In a press release posted by Senator Lankford on his website, the GOP senators explained that aside from demanding the DOJ to stop calling parents "domestic terrorists" for speaking for their kids, the Republican leaders also demand AG Garland to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by 14 staktes that seek the Department of Justice documents that led to his memorandum.
In the letter, the GOP senators argued that the NSBA has publicly apologized for its letter to President Joe Biden that sparked AG Garland's memorandum and that the NSBA has launched a"formal review of its processes and procedures to ensure this incident is not repeated." However, they said that the DOJ "refuses to similarly admit wrongdoing."
"Parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. That does not make them terrorists," the GOP senators added. "For you and your Department to claim otherwise is a gross misuse of your authority as the nation's highest law enforcement official."
The group demanded AG Garland to immediately rescind the memo, which ordered the Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to create a threat tag called "EDUOFFICIALS" to track the alleged threats from parents who speak out for their kids.