The Buckeye Institute Calls on Court to Protect Americans from DOJ’s Intimidating Attempts to Silence Speech

Sep 21, 2022

Columbus, OH – On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute joined an amicus brief urging the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division to quash a Department of Justice subpoena served on the Eagle Forum of Alabama, which the Biden Administration issued in an effort to weaponize the civil litigation process “against organizations with whom the United States Government disagrees.”

“The Department of Justice certainly seems to be trying to intimidate organizations and chill their First Amendment-protected free speech by demanding confidential and constitutionally-protected documents,” said David C. Tryon, director of litigation at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center. “The Department of Justice’s shocking overreach in this case should worry and frighten all Americans, regardless of their political beliefs. If the DOJ can do this to the Eagle Forum of Alabama, it can and will do it to others with whom the government disagrees in the future.”

A subpoena was issued to the Eagle Forum of Alabama in Boe v. Marshall, a case to which the Alabama nonprofit is not a party, for all internal and external communications and records in any way related to Alabama House Bill 1. As the amici argue in the brief, “the subpoena here seeks information that has no bearing on any judicial inquiry…” which “confirms the intent of the subpoena to intimidate and chill grassroots political organizing, not just of EFA but of any and all organizations that may try to organize and petition the government….”

The Buckeye Institute urges the court to “not only quash the subpoena but make clear that using the civil litigation process to chill and intimidate those who may disagree on important political issues is categorically unacceptable.”

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UPDATE: On October 24, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division quashed the subpoena served on the Eagle Forum of Alabama.