Republicans attack Garland over Department of Justice schools memo

Republicans on Wednesday berated Attorney General Merrick B. Garland for the Justice Department’s initiative to address threats of viole...


Republicans on Wednesday berated Attorney General Merrick B. Garland for the Justice Department’s initiative to address threats of violence and harassment targeting school administrators, teachers and school board members, incidents that occurred are multiplied as education has become a battleground of the cultural war.

The barrage of criticism from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee came a week after Mr Garland was confronted similar pointed questions Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have presented the Justice Department’s effort as an attack on the right of parents to voice concerns on issues such as mask warrants and teaching of race-related themes, seeking to make it a problem they hope. resonate with voters.

The stake was a note that Mr. Garland released on October 4, ordering the FBI and the 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices to meet with local law enforcement agencies by early November to discuss how to deal with threats and open “dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”

Mr Garland said in his memo that there had been a “disturbing spike” in harassment, intimidation and threats against public school employees and board members.

“While lively debate on political issues is protected by our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their opinions,” Garland wrote.

Mr. Garland also issued memos announcing initiatives to tackle harassment of election workers, as well as the increase in hate crimes against Asians.

He said during his testimony that his school directive was only aimed at combating violence and threats of violence. And he has repeatedly said that the Supreme Court and the First Amendment prevent the department from cracking down on free speech, even when they are very animated.

In the memo, Mr. Garland did not detail any specific threats of violence or give reasons for the increase in harassment and threats.

But last year’s accounts detailed physical fights, arrests, accusations of disorderly conduct and threats against board members, professors and administrators for arguments over topics that have animated the law, such as mask mandates, gender issues and the curriculum that deals with racism.

But several Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, including Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, said a memo ordering the FBI to investigate the harassment and threats could have a chilling effect on parents who wish to file a complaint.

“The full strength of the FBI is now something a parent should think about before showing up to a school board meeting to voice their concerns and they are frustrated,” Mr. Tillis said. He asked Mr. Garland to consider rescinding or revising the memo.

Republicans also said Mr. Garland politicized the Justice Department by releasing the memo shortly after public school leaders called on President Biden to address school safety concerns.

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton said Mr Garland’s memo came just days after the heads of the National School Boards Association wrote a letter to Mr. Biden which detailed instances of disruption and threats at school board meetings. He suggested the timing raised questions as to whether the Justice Department’s memo was led by the White House.

Mr. Garland has denied being run by the White House.

“When we receive reports of violence and threats of violence, we have to act very quickly,” Garland told Mr. Cotton. “I would have hated it, to have received this letter and then acts of violence occurred in the meantime.”

He said he released the memo following reports of threats and violence against employees and school boards, and not just because of the letter from the National School Boards Association.

After some members of state withdrew from the association, citing inflammatory language in the letter – including comparisons between protesting parents and “domestic terrorism” – the National School Boards Association apologized to its members.

Republicans have also asked Mr. Garland for details of the Press release announcing the initiative of the Ministry of Justice. The statement said part of the effort could be the creation of a task force that includes the National Security Division, a component of the department that focuses on counterterrorism efforts.

Mr Garland did not say whether the task force would be created or why it might include the National Security Division. While he described several criminal charges that could hypothetically be laid in the types of cases reported in the news, none of them were in line with the type of work the division usually handles.

Some Republicans said they had received reports that some FBI members were not happy with the directive, but Mr Garland said no one in the department had complained about it.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Republicans attack Garland over Department of Justice schools memo
Republicans attack Garland over Department of Justice schools memo
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