Hawley, Cotton grill DOJ official on memo targeting threats against teachers, school board members
Republicans expressed concern that a federal response to unrest at school board hearings will chill free speech
October 7, 2021
Republican senators challenged Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on a new memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland to Justice Department employees that discussed federal intervention in state and local school board meetings.
The memo condemned violence against officials, and while the GOP senators agreed with that sentiment, they expressed concern over other language Garland used in reference to "intimidation" and "harassment" that they worried was vague and problematic for potentially leading to First Amendment infringements.
"Tell me where the line is with parents expressing their concerns," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said, questioning what sort of behavior might warrant federal intervention.