Advancing American Freedom (AAF) today announced it joined a Boyden Gray & Associates-led amicus brief in Boe v. Marshall (formerly Eknes-Tucker v. Ivey). In the brief, amici argue that the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) chilled the First Amendment
rights of an ideologically opposed organization when it issued a subpoena to the Eagle Forum of Alabama in August 2022.
“As Americans, we cannot stand idly by as President Biden’s Justice Department uses its power to politically intimidate ideologically opposed groups like the Eagle Forum,” said Advancing American Freedom founder Mike Pence. “This is a blatant attack on the First Amendment, and the continued appearance of partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed.”
In the amicus brief the amici point out that, “…for centuries, governments and even private parties via litigation have tried to chill and restrict fundamental speech, association, and petitioning rights by demanding production of communications and materials by groups holding views that are unpopular or controversial in some quarters. And for centuries, courts have intervened to protect those core rights.”
The amici further noted that, “…even after adoption of the First Amendment, American government officials have still sought to punish the right to free speech, association, and political activity by demanding information about private individuals and political organizations. One of the most famous examples was Alabama’s attempts in the 1950s to deter the activities of the NAACP by demanding its full membership rolls. See NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958). Because “[i]nviolability of privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs,” the demand for membership rolls violated the free speech and associational rights of the First Amendment, applicable to the state via the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 462.
The amicus brief asks the Court to “quash the United States’ subpoena in full” because the Biden DOJ does not provide any valid justification or prove any legitimate interest to seek constitutionally protected information or other internal documents of a private non-profit organization.
The amici further request that the Court quash the subpoena in a written opinion that “unmistakably vindicates the First Amendment rights at stake.” “Doing so in a public way,” write the amici, “may help to deter the government from using the awesome power of the Department of Justice to chill the rights of politically unpopular citizens and organizations.
AAF joined more than fifty organizations in signing the amicus brief.
Additionally, AAF today separately filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Department of Justice’s communications with non-DOJ personnel about gender identity and any and all records relating to the subject of Eagle Forum and related entities.
To view Boyden Gray & Associates’ amicus brief, click HERE.
Advancing American Freedom (AAF)
American strength and leadership on the world stage
Three pillars: American Opportunity, American Leadership, and American Culture
Biden Justice Department
FBI raid Mar-a-Lago
Boe v. Marshall
NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson
Eagle Forum of Alabama