Former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz recently stated that free speech is threatened when the Department of Justice classifies unruly parents at school board meetings as domestic terrorists.
“It’s entirely inappropriate to label a peaceful protestor as a domestic terrorist. All presumptions should favor free expression, free speech,” said Dershowitz.
He continued, “But we do have a right to make sure that public officials are not threatened with physical violence. And that’s the line that has to be drawn today in many colleges and universities around the country.”
According to the New York Post, White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not verify that parents concerned about their children’s curriculum would be considered terrorists.
When pressed by a reporter about whether President Joe Biden would “support the fundamental right of parents to protest at school board meetings,” Psaki answered, “Of course, but he doesn’t stand for the fundamental right — I assume you don’t, either —for people to take violent action against members of — public servants. And that’s what the threats are about. And so, no, he doesn’t stand for that. No one should.”
Legal expert Dershowitz vowed to defend any nonviolent protests at school board meetings. His vow came after Attorney General Merrick Garland mobilized U.S. attorneys and the FBI to “investigate and prosecute” school board protests.
According to Dershowitz, “It used to be we were able to count on the American Civil Liberties Union, but they’re dead in the water when it comes to issues like this. They ought to be protesting this as well.”
“I’ll defend anybody who is chilled in their free speech,” Dershowitz vowed. “Anybody who wants to protest at school boards and is going to do it nonviolently can count on me.”
“What they don’t have the right to do, is threaten to hurt, or do violence to teachers or to administrators, and that’s a line that I would hope the Justice Department would keep clearly in mind — at the same time, always erring on the side of permitting freedom of expression, even if it’s unruly.”
According to Dershowitz, Garland should “pull back” on his memo this week, which threatened to investigate and prosecute any parent protests at school board meetings.
“There have been some threats of violence, but not enough to, in my view, justify the extreme measure of sending letters out and calling for FBI investigations.
“So, I think the attorney general — who I generally like and admire — ought to pull back and ought to leave it to local authorities, unless they can make a very strong case of violent denial of civil liberties,” Dershowitz said.
He added that Attorney General Garland “in perception, at least, he’s gone over the line” by mobilizing the investigation of protests and local crimes by the federal Justice Department.
‘Avowed liberal’ Dershowitz denounces CRT
When Dershowitz spoke about critical race theory (CRT), he remained critical, “If I were a parent, I would object to propagandizing my students in school. And they have a perfect right to do that.”
Dershowitz is a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat but has come out strongly against race-based teaching in school. He said that protests should not be considered “domestic terrorism,” but are parents expressing their rights to speak out about teaching he calls “propaganda.”
“We all think the attorney general should have the right to prevent violence if it’s in violation of civil rights; on the other hand, protests about Black Lives Matter, if I had a kid in school, I’d be among the protesters. Black Lives Matter, critical legal studies shouldn’t be taught in school,” Dershowitz said.
He continued, “Critical race theory is anything but critical. It’s uncritical of anything that has to do with racial theory and its propaganda. And I would be among protesters, and I would be vociferous in expressing my views on propagandizing my children, and I’m certainly not a terrorist.”
Dershowitz proclaimed that although he may have different political or personal views.
“My job as a First Amendment civil libertarian is to defend the views of people I despise — defend the views that I disagree with. So, I will defend the views of people who say some of the most absurd things because once you can censor absurd things, you can then move on to censor more rational things.”