Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, chastising him for his memo to Justice Department employees about intervening in violence, threats and intimidation targeting school board officials.
Cotton noted that Garland has cited news reports – in addition to a letter from the National School Boards Association – as inspiring his memo. The Arkansas Republican then brought up one of the more high-profile instances of a parent being arrested for conduct at a school board meeting, where Scott Smith was charged with disorderly conduct after demanding answers regarding how his daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted in a girls’ bathroom at school by a boy who had reportedly been wearing women’s clothing.
While Garland stopped short of apologizing to the Smith family, he expressed sympathy for their situation and said that “anyone whose child is raped … is certainly entitled and protected by the First Amendment to protest to their school board about that.”
“That letter and those reports were the basis for your directive. This is shameful. Judge, this is shameful. This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful. Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court. You should resign in disgrace, judge.”
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