Demand DOJ Communications with American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Children’s Hospital Association, and any of their representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland condemning the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) patterned abuse of investigative authority to police the speech of Americans and stifle the ongoing policy debate over whether minors should receive experimental gender reassignment procedures. The Senators also demanded any and all communications by Garland or any other DOJ employee with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and/or Children’s Hospital Association or any of their representatives about this issue, in order to conduct congressional oversight and hold accountable everyone responsible for this outrageous policy.

The Senators wrote:

This request by advocacy organizations to have the federal government stifle critical speech on their behalf would have been unthinkable before your tenure as Attorney General. It is important to note that violence and threats are not protected speech and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, parents who voice their concerns about the health and safety of their children, or express opinions on matters of public policy more generally, are engaged in core First Amendment activity.

If there is a bedrock principle in American self-governance, it is that the federal government has no place in quashing or criminalizing civic discourse. The issue of how best to treat minors struggling with their gender dysphoria is the subject of ongoing and emotional debate, which Americans have a protected First Amendment right to fully engage in. The strength of our democracy is dependent on the ability of all citizens to peacefully participate in public debate without fear of persecution from your agency or any other.

“Your actions in regard to the NSBA letter sent an inappropriate message that federal law enforcement can and will be used to aid one side of a political debate, and to either silence or chill the speech of the other. Now, in a remarkably similar fashion, medical associations have written to you asking you to again treat any speech critical of their position on a sensitive matter of public policy as a physical threat warranting a law enforcement response.

We call upon you to reaffirm that you will faithfully protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans to peacefully debate this and all other policy questions, irrespective of viewpoint. The weaponization of federal law enforcement agencies like the DOJ, in order to produce preferred policy outcomes, cannot continue – our democracy depends on it.”

Read the full letter here.

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