Fourteen states are suing the Biden administration, seeking records related to the federal government allegedly working with the National School Boards Association to target parents who were speaking out at school board meetings.
Friday’s filing comes after the federal government refused to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for all communications between the White House, Justice Department and the National School Boards Association on the controversy.
The state officials wanted to review communications between federal officials and the NSBA to see if the administration had called for surveillance of parents speaking out at school board meetings, treating them as “domestic terrorists,” in response to a request from the special interest group.
“We just want the facts,” said Indiana Republican state Attorney General Todd 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?”
In a memo last October, the lawsuit contended, Attorney General Merrick Garland “parroted language” from a letter the NSBA sent to the Biden administration, warning about the level of pushback they’re getting from parents over critical race theory and other divisive teaching material.
The NSBA later apologized for comparing the parents to domestic terrorists in their complaint, but according to the states, the Biden administration has never rescinded its memo.
“The Biden administration wants to sweep under the rug these inexcusable assaults on parents’ freedom of speech,” Mr. Rokita said. “But we’re fighting for full transparency and accountability for this misconduct so it doesn’t happen again.”
Indiana was joined by Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah in its lawsuit against President Biden and Mr. Garland over the records.
The complaint was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
A spokesperson from the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.