On Monday, October 4th, 2021, the Biden-Harris regime officially turned the Department of Justice against the American people in a fundamental and terrifying way. In a memo released by Attorney General Merrick Garland targeting parents and teachers protesting before school boards, the Department of Justice announced that they will direct the FBI to investigate and prosecute “threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views. ” at the same time asserting that the DoJ has the ability and the power to discern the difference between said threat and intimidation versus “spirited debate about policy matters … protected under our Constitution.” Simple question: Who died and made AG Merrick Garland the official arbiter of what is and is not acceptable political speech in America?
From a leftist-dominated government that supports the anti-free speech concept of “hate speech” and routinely defends and grants leniency or clemency to groups claiming that “speech is violence“, the notion that they have the power to investigate and prosecute “Threats against public servants” is horrifying.
AG Garland wrote,
“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate. In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”
DoJ Threat Is A Violation of the SCOTUS “Chilling Effect” Doctrine
This memo is by definition a “chilling effect” on free speech as determined by the Supreme Court in Baggett v. Bullitt (1964). MTSU’s First Amendment Encyclopedia tells us that the “Chilling Effect” is,
“[T]he concept of deterring free speech and association rights protected by the First Amendment as a result of government laws or actions that appear to target expression.”
“It is closely related to the overbreadth doctrine, which prohibits the government from casting too wide a net when regulating activities related to speech and expression.”
The Author of “Chilling Effect” Frank Askin is a retired Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, where he taught election law and constitutional law for 50 years. He is the longest-serving General Counsel in the history of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Askin explained that in the Baggett v. Bullitt ruling the Supreme Court, “In ruling that these provisions violated the First Amendment rights of employees, who would be unable to determine what they were swearing to, the Court asserted that “the threat of sanctions may deter . . . almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions.”
Therefore, “the threat of sanctions” even if no parents actually commit any threats or acts of violence may deter their participation in the school boards across the country “almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions.”
“This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced,” Parents Defending Education said in a Monday statement, clearly recognizing the Biden-Harris regime’s threat for what it is: an act of political intimidation.
Republicans in Congress have near-universally condemned the DoJ action,
“All around the country, Americans are speaking out against the radical racist ideology sometimes called ‘critical race theory,’” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote in a memo to the Attorney General Garland obtained by Fox News.
“Americans have responded to this radical ideology by winning elections for local school boards and protesting peacefully at school board meetings. Yet your memo yesterday to the FBI and local U.S. Attorneys ignored all of this and warned of an insurgence of ‘threats of violence’ and ‘efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.’”
“I certainly share your view that threats of violence have no place in this country, but the backdrop of your memo strongly suggests that your concern is not violence, but democratic pushback against critical race theory,” he added.