Politics

DeSantis Pushes Back Against Garland’s Threat Against Parents: ‘Florida Will Defend the Free Speech Rights of Its Citizens’

As we and others reported, Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland issued what many see as a threat by the federal government to squelch the free speech rights of parents concerned about the “education” their children receive in public schools.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, stood up and pushed back against Garland, telling him in no uncertain terms he would defend the free speech rights of the state’s citizens.

“Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation,” DeSantis said on Twitter. “Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”

A post at RedState notes:

While Garland spoke about “threats,” he didn’t identify any threats or concerns which would qualify as federal criminal action requiring such interference in the parents’ rights to express themselves. Indeed, the announcement seemed like an effort to basically chill their rights to speak. Normally, if there was any actual “threat,” it would come within the purview of local law enforcement. There’s no requirement to make what would already be illegal more illegal. So what actually are they saying here? What’s actually happening with this edict from the Biden Administration?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has championed the rights of parents to speak on behalf of their own children — something that should be self-evident and unquestionable — threw down the gauntlet, speaking out against this troubling announcement from Garland.

Fox News added:

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw told Fox News in a statement that it was too early to tell what steps the governor would take in response to the DOJ’s order but that he was closely monitoring the situation “to protect the rights of Floridians from government overreach and the inappropriate politicization of federal law enforcement.”

“Several Florida school board members, including Democrats and Republicans, have reported receiving threats and harassment from activists on both ends of the political spectrum,” the statement said, in part. “This is wrong, and anyone who is a victim of a crime should report it to their local police department. Florida law enforcement is perfectly capable of responding to crimes in Florida, and we have never heard the FBI suggest otherwise.”

“However, disagreement is not harassment. Protest is not terrorism, unless it involves rioting, looting, and assault, like some of the left-wing protests of summer 2020. Again, all of those actions are crimes in Florida and will be prosecuted, regardless of political context,” the statement continued. “Governor DeSantis condemns any attempt by the federal government to silence free speech. It is despicable and anti-American.”

Writing at RedState, Nick Arama observed that the Biden Regime doesn’t even think parents are the “primary” stakeholders in the education of their children.  Apparently, that is solely the purview of the government, in their worldview.

Garland’s letter, which can be seen below, was issued after the left-wing National School Boards Association sent a letter suggesting parents protesting sexually-suggestive curriculum, mandates and Critical Race Theory be treated like domestic terrorists engaging in hate speech.

Fox News said the DOJ did not respond to their request for comments.

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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