Parents’ Lawsuit against AG Merrick Garland Heads to SCOTUS

(Washington, D.C. – April 15, 2024) Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the high court to review its case against Attorney General Merrick Garland filed on behalf of parents from Loudoun County, Virginia and Saline, Michigan.

In this lawsuit, AFLC is challenging the Attorney General’s political attack of parents who speak out at school board meetings against the indoctrination of their children by “woke” school boards.

The district court judge dismissed the lawsuit on “justiciability grounds”—claiming that the parents were not “injured” by the Attorney General’s policy and thus lacked standing to challenge it.  The court refused to address the merits of the case.

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit (the very court where Garland presided as a judge) affirmed the lower court ruling. 

We are now asking the Supreme Court to take up this important case.

As stated in the petition:

The Attorney General of the United States has weaponized the vast law enforcement resources of the federal government to target parents, including Petitioners, who publicly and vehemently object to certain policies being forced upon their children in various school districts across the country, specifically including school districts located in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Saline, Michigan. The Attorney General has pejoratively designated these parents as “threats” and “domestic terrorists,” deeming them worthy of investigation and surveillance by the federal government.

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The alleged facts, taken together, present a “plausible” narrative of a rogue policy designed to intimidate and silence parent protestors at school board meetings. Accordingly, this case presents important questions involving the right of private citizens to be free from government investigations and surveillance designed to chill their right to freedom of speech. It also raises the fundamental question regarding who has standing to challenge such governmental overreach.

On October 4, 2021, Attorney General Garland announced with great public fanfare that he was calling upon the vast law enforcement resources of the Department of Justice, including the FBI, to target parents who dare to publicly criticize local school boards that are indoctrinating their children with a harmful and radical left-wing agenda disguised as school curricula.

As set forth in the lawsuit, the Attorney General relied exclusively on the now-discredited letter drafted by “progressive” members of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), which labeled the parents as “domestic terrorists.”

Without the “domestic terrorist” allegation, the Department of Justice would have no jurisdiction (authority) to meddle in local school board matters.

The NSBA letter was orchestrated by the Biden Administration in order to create the pretext for the Attorney General’s policy directive.  In fact, this contrived letter served as the sole basis for the policy.

Pursuant to the Attorney General’s directive, the FBI created a “threat tag” to aid in tracking and investigating parents the Attorney General and his “progressive” allies consider a threat to school board officials.

An October 20, 2021 internal email from the FBI’s criminal and counterterrorism divisions instructed agents to apply the threat tag “EDUOFFICIALS” to all investigations and assessments of alleged “threats” directed specifically at education officials.

As alleged in the lawsuit, this “weaponization” of the Department of Justice violates federal constitutional and statutory law.  The high court needs to take up this case.