Judge Dismisses Suit by Parents Against Attorney General Merrick Garland

The AG called parents “threats” in a memo.

  • A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by parents against Attorney General Merrick Garland for his characterization of them as “threats.”
  • Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled that the memo was a “series of measures” to direct federal authorities to address the increasing threats to school board members and other teachers.
  • “The alleged AG Policy is not regulatory, proscriptive, or compulsory in nature because it does not impose any regulations, requirements, or enforcement actions on individuals,” Friedrich wrote. “None of the documents that the plaintiffs allege establish the policy create an imminent threat of future legal actions against anyone, much less the plaintiffs.”
  • The attorney general made his claims in October of 2021 when he pointed to parental involvement in school board meetings harassment and intimidation.
  • The Department of Justice was given authority and resources to discourage those threats and identify those responsible.
  • “In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools. While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” the attorney general’s memo read.
  • “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety. 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,” Garland went on to say.
  • The AG added that “Coordination and partnership with local law enforcement is critical to implementing these measures for the benefit of our nation’s nearly 14,000 public school districts. To this end, I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum. These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
  • The group of parents from Virginia and Washington sued Garland claiming the memo was an attempt to silence parents exercising their constitutional rights.
  • In the parents’ suit against Garland, they asserted the official was getting in the way of their protesting “harmful, immoral, and racist policies of the ‘progressive’ Left.”
  • Some lawmakers took issue with Garland’s memo, and The House Judiciary Committee’s Republicans asked that Garland withdraw the memo last October during public hearings.