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An Alabama nonprofit filed a motion Wednesday to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from subpoenaing them for five years of information related to their advocacy against permanent gender treatments on children.
Eagle Forum of Alabama has promoted the “Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” (VCAP) since 2017, a bill that was signed into law in April 2022 and that made it a felony to prescribe or administer puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to trans-identifying minors age 19 and younger. The group called the subpoena, which seeks notes, documents, and communications regarding VCAP, among other things, “broad, intrusive, and meant to harass.”
“At stake here is the ability of all private citizen advocates and non-profit advocacy organizations to engage in the legislative process regardless of their viewpoint,” Eagle Forum President Kristen A. Ullman said. “If the DOJ can weaponize a subpoena, any American can be unduly burdened and prevented from engaging in our democratic republic form of government. Freedom of speech and freedom of association will be squelched.”
Ullman called the subpoena “unprecedented” and a “blatant attempt to intimidate and silence” her organization. “This harassment must be stopped,” she said, noting that the information the DOJ seeks from Eagle Forum is unrelated to the lawsuit the DOJ joined. “If the Department of Justice doesn’t like your viewpoint it may target you next,” she added.
The Daily Wire has reached out to the DOJ for comment.
Executive Director of Eagle Forum, Becky Gerritson, defended the group’s advocacy promoting the VCAP legislation.
“After hearing from citizens in Alabama, including parents, doctors, lawyers, and guidance counselors, about their concerns for otherwise healthy children who want to transition to the opposite sex, we decided to undertake the protection of these vulnerable children and have done so publicly and ardently,” said Gerritson. “Eagle Forum of Alabama operates primarily by volunteer Alabama citizens. The right to engage in these activities, free of compulsion and harassment, must be preserved.”
In May, shortly after the VCAP legislation went into effect, Liles Burke, a U.S. Judge for the Northern District of Alabama issued a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the ban while a court challenge goes forward.
Alabama’s VCAP law is the subject of a lawsuit filed in the US District Court on April 19, 2022, Eknes-Tucker, et. al. v. Marshall, et. al. According to the press release, the DOJ filed a motion to join as an intervener party to the lawsuit on April 29, 2022. Even though Eagle Forum of Alabama is not a party in this legal action, they are now being investigated by President Biden’s justice department.