A 14-state coalition has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Biden administration demanding the government provide records on any FBI surveillance of parents. The lawsuit comes after the National School Boards Association suggested the Department of Justice treat parents concerned about the direction of schools as potential domestic terrorists.
The Biden administration has failed to respond to FOIA requests filed by Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and other states last fall seeking federal officials’ communications prior to the October 2021 “threats” memo. Rokita is taking the lead on the effort, joined by chief legal advisors in Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
“We just want the facts,” said Rokita. “Rather than cooperate, the Biden administration has sought to conceal and downplay its culpability. What are they hiding? Why won’t they come clean? Hoosiers and all Americans deserve to know.”
The lawsuit takes aim at Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. The AGs are asking a U.S. district court to instruct the administration to respond to the requests, according to Fox News. The White House declined to comment on the lawsuit, and directed The Daily Wire to the DOJ.
NSBA’s letter was followed by Garland directing the FBI in a memo to lead a task force addressing threats to school officials and report the threats. A spokesperson for the White House then claimed it was not involved in the DOJ memo and that the department “chose to take this approach on their own.”
Still, Garland testified in October 2021 that he was “sure that the communication from the National Association of School Boards was discussed between the White House and the Justice Department and that’s perfectly appropriate,” according to the lawsuit.
Soon after the memo was issued, Republican attorneys general wrote to the administration demanding its withdrawal. They asked the government to “cease any further actions designed to intimidate parents from expressing their opinions on the education of their children” and “respect their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to raise their children,” the lawsuit states.
Upon NSBA’s letter, 41 Republicans called on Cardona to resign. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) led the demand and called the president’s prior “unity” message in conflict with likening concerned parents to terrorists.
Elana Fishbein, president of the group No Left Turn in Education, sent a letter to Garland in January urging him to investigate the “crisis” in schools related to adults sexualizing children. Fishbein cited numerous examples throughout the country.
“We are trying to push for a Senate and House hearing on this issue,” Fishbein told The Daily Wire.
Asra Nomani, another parent activist and journalist who is vice president for strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education, testified before the House Judiciary Committee this week. Wearing a shirt with the words “I am a Mom, not a domestic terrorist,” Nomani discussed Critical Race Theory in schools and Asian discrimination.
“No child in America should ever feel shame. No child should ever feel discrimination, and it is unconscionable that we do not recognize that,” said Nomani in the hearing. “We must protect the integrity of humanity.”