LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is participating in a 14-state effort to force President Biden to turn over records related to the Administration’s efforts to prevent parents from speaking out against indoctrination in public schools. The multistate lawsuit, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, asks a U.S. district court to force the Biden Administration to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests the coalition filed last fall.
“Parents of public school children have a right to be involved in the education process and must not be silenced,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Biden Administration threatens parents’ freedom of speech, but are fighting to shed light on these atrocious policies.”
The FOIA requests seek federal officials’ communications preceding an October 4th Department of Justice memo that called for FBI surveillance of parents expressing opinions at school board meetings and other forums. In the memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a September 29th National School Boards Association letter to the Biden Administration. That letter disparaged parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory. It also labeled protests by concerned parents across the nation as “domestic terrorism.”
Facts then came to light suggesting the NSBA and White House worked together to concoct false grounds for targeting parents. On October 18th, a 17-state coalition demanded that the Biden Administration rescind its threat to sic the FBI on peacefully protesting parents of schoolchildren. The NSBA eventually apologized for its language comparing parents to domestic terrorists, but the Biden Administration has never rescinded its threatening memo.
Besides the White House and U.S. Department of Justice, the lawsuit also names as defendants the U.S. Department of Education and its leader, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
States participating in this lawsuit are Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.