Attorney General Garland Abuses Power He Doesn’t Have To Threaten Parents

GianCarlo Caparo is the Daily Signal’s Editor

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo on Monday directing the Department of Justice and the FBI to “launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

It looks as if the FBI was trying to misuse the Garland memo threaten and silenceParents who oppose critical race theory at schools are often outspoken. It would amount to a remarkable partisan abuse. Even more shameful is what Garland did.

Maybe Garland doesn’t actually intend to use the FBI to go after parents—maybe he knows that he doesn’t have that power. In that case, he’s trying to trick parents into thinking that he does. This tactic, he hopes, will suppress parents’ free speech, and throw a bone to a powerful ally of his political party.

Even just a handful of FBI agents asking parents questions may convince other people that it is worth taking the risk to stand up for your values.

Related: Mom Blasts Critical Race Theory And Gets Cheered For Calling For ‘Mass Exodus’ From Public Schools

To understand what Garland is doing with this memo, you’ll need a short primer on the background facts and government legalese.

Starting with the facts: What is this “rise in criminal conduct” against school officials? You won’t find any evidence cited in Garland’s memo. You won’t find any evidence in the FBI’s crime data either.

This claim is parroted from a letter sent to President Joe Biden by the National School Boards Association—a powerful leftist group representing many of the school boards around the country pushing critical race theory curricula. That letter made vague claims about “threats and acts of violence” against school board members from parents who oppose critical race theory.

The letter complained about “disruptions” by angry parents but managed to find only one example of violence against a school official (likely a security guard), which was handled by local law enforcement.

Most of the letter is the National School Boards Association clutching its pearls, aghast that justifiably angry parents are zealously advocating for their children’s interest. Even though these tactics have been used so far, they are not comparable to the Riots of Summer 2020 which caused more than $1 billion in damage and multiple deaths.

These tactics were not condemned by the National School Boards Association or its liberal allies. Actually, the vice president is currently organized financial supportThe criminals are involved.

National School Boards Association doesn’t care about a single instance of violence that is adequately dealt with by local police. Even more, it’s upset at the inability of parents to use their First Amendment rights against criticizing race theory in school.

Related: Biden’s AG Mobilizes FBI To ‘Identify And Prosecute’ Parents Who ‘Threaten’ School Board Members Over Mask Mandates, CRT Teaching

In a decision that was almost reflexive among leftist groups, the group asked the government for help to shut down its meddling critics. Garland was happy to assist. Garland has been a hypocrite to Biden and himself by doing so.

When Biden announced Garland’s nomination, he promised to uphold the independence of the DOJ from the political influence of the White House. Garland made the promise, saying that he would do the same.

My professional life has revolved around Ed Levi and all the post-Watergate Attorneys Gen who stood up for the Department from any impermissible pressure and influence. If confirmed, I plan to follow the example of Ed Levi and other post-Watergate Attorneys General.

A demand letter from leftist advocacy groups to President Obama turning into a DOJ memo in less than one week is a clear example of political influence getting into the DOJ.

But Garland’s weaponization of the DOJ has a problem: There is no conceivable basis for federal law enforcement action against these parents.

Unlike Attorney General Eric Holder, who twisted and abused the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to silence pro-life advocates, Garland can’t find any law that he can similarly mangle to silence parents. It would have been in his memo, even if it was possible.

But the parents don’t know that.

Here comes the legalese of government. Garland’s memo fails to cite any basis for law enforcement action by the DOJ or the FBI, but it hides that with a morass of official language that says nothing more than that federal law enforcement will provide some advice to local school boards.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors (who have nothing better to do, apparently) will travel the country giving school boards the phone number of their local police and the web address of the FBI’s internet tip line.

Once the fury and sound have subsided, there is nothing left.

How do we interpret all of this?

Related: Biden’s Justice Department Vows To ‘Protect’ Women Seeking Abortions In Texas

First of all, federal law enforcement should not be involved in this matter; this is a local issue.

Second, Garland has demonstrated, disappointingly, that he is beholden to powerful leftist political groups and perfectly happy to let them use the threat of federal government’s law enforcement power to suppress their critics’ right to free speech. Promised impendence by the DOJ is laughable.

The third is that Garland should spend less on national security than on appeasing liberal interests.

There is good news for parents: they don’t have to worry. Parents have the right to sue schools for teaching critical race theory to their children.

Get out there and speak up for the school boards

The Daily Signal permission granted permission for this syndicated article.