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House Judiciary Committee grills AG Garland's misguided memo to FBI

Thursday, Oct 21, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony Thursday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing:

“Today, Attorney General Garland failed to provide concrete evidence to support his aggressive and misguided directive to use federal law enforcement to investigate parents exercising their First Amendment rights at local school board meetings, presumably using the same federal laws employed to investigate domestic terrorism and other criminal activities.

“Let’s be clear: Parents expressing concern over school boards that take their cues from powerful, agenda-driven activists working to undermine the role of parents in their children’s education does not equate to domestic terrorism. Showing up at school board meetings to ask questions about the curriculum your child is being taught, the efficacy of sweeping COVID-19 mandates, or the enforcement of gender identity policies that could violate your daughter’s rights to privacy and safety makes you a good parent and a good citizen. One need look no further than Loudoun County, Virginia where a high school girl was sexually assaulted in a bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt to understand why parents insist on being involved in their child’s education.

“The protests of these concerned parents do not warrant the involvement of federal law enforcement, or the application of federal laws aimed at stopping terror organizations. It chills the constitutionally protected speech of those who rightly object to ill-considered policies that harm our nation’s schoolchildren. Many parents, including some of our clients, are justifiably concerned that the government has violated their fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. ADF stands with concerned parents across the country—the government can’t silence their voices or stop them from peacefully engaging in their children’s education.”

On Oct. 6, ADF sent a letter to Attorney General Garland asking him to rescind his decision to direct the FBI to convene meetings and consider actions in concert with other federal agencies regarding the “threat” such parents pose.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

As the CEO, president, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristen Waggoner leads the faith-based organization in advancing the God-given right to live and speak the truth in the U.S. and around the world. She oversees more than 450 ADF team members in eight global offices. Since 2011, ADF has won 15 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, three of which were argued by Waggoner: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Uzuebgunam v. Presczewski,and 303 Creative v. Elenis. ADF also has a strong record of international success at the European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, and other leading courts and tribunals and has secured the release of more than 1,000 imprisoned Christians. After clerking with Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders, Waggoner practiced law for over 16 years at a Seattle firm before joining ADF in 2013. She is Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ in Martindale-Hubbell. Waggoner is a sought-after public speaker who often appears in national and international media outlets.