In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt slammed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) attempt to stop “harassment” and “intimidation” of school officials, a move that comes as parents have voiced opposition to Critical Race Theory in schools.
“Biden’s Department of Justice is weaponizing its resources against parents who dare to advocate for their children. This dangerous federal overreach imposes a chilling effect on free speech by criminalizing dissent. I will always advocate for parents and will continue to push back against unprecedented federal overreach,” Schmitt said in a press release accompanying his letter to Garland.
As The Daily Wire reported on Monday, the DOJ has “ordered the FBI to work on curbing ‘harassment’ and ‘threats of violence’ against school administrators after it said the number of such incidents spiked in the past year. The DOJ’s move came days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) pushed the Biden administration to take action against the rise in ‘malice, violence, and threats,’ which the association said could constitute ‘a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.’”
In his letter, Schmitt explained how the Biden administration’s justification for having the FBI get involved in local matters doesn’t hold up. “[T]he federal government does not have jurisdiction over local school issues,” Schmitt wrote, noting that the National School Boards Association asked the DOJ to use “federal anti-terrorism and anti-hate crimes laws” in order to insert themselves in local matters. The NSBA, Schmitt wrote, specifically asked the DOJ to “protect interstate commerce” by using the Gun-Free School Zones Act and the PATRIOT Act.
Schmitt explained that the Supreme Court has already rejected the interstate commerce argument using the Gun-Free School Zones Act. Twenty-five years ago, in United States v. Lopez, “the federal government argued that possession of a firearm around a school could affect interstate commerce through the economic effects resulting from violence or an impacted education process.” But the Supreme Court rejected this claim, ruling that “if we were to accept the Government’s arguments, we are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate.” The Supreme Court further ruled that such a connection was unconstitutional because it “neither regulates a commercial activity nor contains a requirement that the possession be connected in any way to interstate commerce.”
As Schmitt noted, neither Garland’s memo nor the NSBA’s letter demanding the federal