WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and their colleagues in demanding clarification from Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his recent memorandum on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) intention to investigate parents concerned about COVID-19 protocols and curriculum changes in public schools. The letter details how it is not the job of the federal government to investigate parents who voice criticism against school policy.
“While we agree with the sentiment that there is absolutely no environment in which it is acceptable that school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff would be subject to real threats of violence, we believe any threat that constitutes a clear and imminent threat of intended violence should be investigated and prosecuted by local law enforcement officers. We also believe parents have the right to voice their concerns, opinions, and frustrations to public servants,” wrote the senators.
“Parents often vehemently protect their children and have the absolute right to dissent when they believe their own children’s wellbeing is threatened. It is not the job of the federal government to institute a witch hunt against parents effectively penalizing them by investigating dissent.”
“Wasting federal resources investigating constitutionally protected speech simply to discourage people from that speech is as egregious as barring free speech,” the senators continued.
Joining Johnson are Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Barrasso, (R-Wyo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
The full text of the letter can be found here.