FIRST ON FOX: The Missouri lawyer common blasted Attorney General Merrick Garland’s new Department of Justice (DOJ) directive to guard college boards from alleged threats and “intimidation” as an “unconstitutional expansion” of federal energy, as criticism continues to mount.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt despatched Garland a letter solely obtained by Fox News on Tuesday blasting the memo directing DOJ, FBI and U.S. attorneys places of work “to investigate and prosecute parents as domestic terrorists” as “outrageous” and “unconstitutional.”
“First, the federal government does not have jurisdiction over school issues,” Schmitt identified. “Your directive came just days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) called on the Biden administration to investigate and prosecute parents as domestic terrorists.”
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“Neither your directive nor the NSBA letter to the Biden Administration identifies any impact that parent comments to school bureaucrats could have on interstate commerce,” Schmitt additionally wrote. “It is difficult to imagine any such connection.”
Schmitt additionally pointed to the Supreme Court’s 1990 ruling on the Gun-Free School Zones Act as a counter to the college board affiliation calling on the federal authorities to “specifically use” that act in addition to the PATRIOT Act “‘in regards to domestic terrorism.’”
“Second, your directive appears to have a chilling effect on speech,” the letter continues. “Your directive only makes a passing reference to the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.” “Characterizing differences of opinion as violence or threats of violence is a heavy-handed attempt to chill parents from continuing to advocate for their children,” Schmitt added.
Additionally, Schmitt eviscerated the directive as “wildly inconsistent” and making an attempt “to muzzle and intimidate parents,” and that the college board members are “directly accountable to the voters — the parents — they represent.”
“But now that parents are opposing harmful decisions made by school boards, school boards want to treat parents as domestic terrorists,” the Missouri lawyer common continued. “That is wrong.”
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On Monday, Garland directed the FBI and U.S. lawyer’s places of work to carry conferences with federal, state and native regulation enforcement leaders within the subsequent 30 days, throughout which they’ll focus on methods to fight what the DOJ known as a “disturbing trend” of harassment and threats in opposition to college officers.
Critics say the transfer quantities to an try by the Biden administration to bully dad and mom from exercising their First Amendment rights.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., additionally eviscerated Garland in a letter Tuesday, accusing the lawyer common of utilizing the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) “to intimidate and silence parents who are exercising their First Amendment rights.”
DOJ spokesperson Wyn Hornbuckle stated in an announcement to Fox News that the outrage in opposition to the mobilization of the FBI in response to the allegations was as a consequence of “misinformation” and that the DOJ’s transfer was not about “any particular ideology.”
“There has been misinformation circulated that the Attorney General’s directive is an effort to silence those with particular views about COVID-related policies, school curricula, or other topics of public discussion,” he stated.
“This is simply not true. As stated clearly in the Attorney General’s guidance to the FBI and United States Attorney’s Offices, the Department’s efforts are about rooting out criminal threats of violence, not about any particular ideology.”
Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed reporting.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can discover him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.
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