Sen. Ted Cruz Was Defending the First Amendment, Not Nazi Salutes

At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Republican senators clashed against Attorney General Merrick Grland. It was the Justice Department’s latest memo that instructed national law enforcement agencies in protecting local school boards against the alleged threat from violently angry parents who attended school board meetings.

Garland denies that his memo asked the FBI to arrest parents who were upset over school policies and curriculum. He also equivocated on whether a letter from the National School Board Association—which had called irate parents a potential source of “domestic terrorism”—had prompted his department to act.

Mainstream media reporters seized on an exchange between Garland and Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Tex.). Aaron Rupar (formerly of Vox and Media Matters, described the moment as “Cruz defending Nazi salutes at school board meetings.”

Similar results are also available The Daily Beast Its headline was “Ted Cruz defends parents doing Nazi salutes at school board meetings.” Ari Melber of MSNBC said Ted Cruz appeared to be defending the right for parents to use the Nazi salute. He also stated that the host was free to say it. As a response, National ReviewCharles C.W. Cooke correct notedCruz does not simply “speak” free speech. Garland agreed as well because he too knows it’s free speech.

Evidently, there was something lost in translation. The parent who gave the Nazi salute to his child wasn’t a Nazi, but he was a parent. The school board was accused of being Nazis. (Although it is hyperbolic, accusing political opponents of being Nazis can be a timeless tactic that is loved by both the left and right. Cruz was not advocating the speech’s content, but he was just pointing out its First Amendment protection. Cruz stated, and Garland also agreed with Cruz, that parents have the First Amendment right of hollering at the school board. This was not a random example. He cited the National School Board Association letter because he had. Cruz was arguing, correctly, that First Amendment–protected activities should not be conflated with violent threats. [OK?]

Ted Cruz is worthy of your support. This is not the case.