An Alabama organization filed a request on Wednesday to block the DOJ from subpoenaing them for at least five years’ of documents pertaining to their opposition to youngsters receiving permanent gender changes.
Since 2017, Eagle Forum of Alabama has advocated for the “Alabama Vulnerable Children Compassion and Protection Act” (VCAP), a piece of legislation that made it illegal to administer or prescribe puberty-blocking medications and hormones to transgender children under the age of 19 after it was signed into law in April 2022. The organization described the subpoena as being “broad, invasive, and intended to harass and asking for notes, documents, and emails pertaining to VCAP, among other things.”
According to Eagle Forum Pres. Kristen A. Ullman, “what’s at issue here is everyone’s capacity to participate in the legislative process, no matter what their views were. If the DOJ can use a subpoena as a weapon, any American might be overburdened and prohibited from participating in our democratic republic system of governance. It will be difficult to exercise one’s right to free speech and association.”
The subpoena was described by Ullman as “unprecedented” and as a “blatant effort to intimidate and silence” her group. She noted that the material the DOJ is requesting from Eagle Forum is irrelevant to the litigation in which the DOJ participated and emphasized that “this harassment must stop.” She said, “The DOJ may attack you next if it doesn’t agree with your views.”
Becky Gerritson, the Eagle Forum’s executive director, defended the organization’s campaigning for and promotion of the VCAP legislation.
“We decided to undertake the protection of these vulnerable children and have done so publicly and ardently,” said Gerritson. “We heard from Alabama citizens, including doctors, parents, guidance counselors and lawyers about their concerns for the otherwise healthy kids who want to change to the opposite sex.” Volunteer Alabama citizens are the main source of funding for Eagle Forum of Alabama.
Soon after the VCAP Act took effect in May, Liles Burke, a U.S. Judge, ordered a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from implementing the ban while a legal challenge is ongoing.
Eknes-Tucker, et. al. v. Marshall, et. al. is a case brought against the state of Alabama’s VCAP statute in the US District Court. A request to join the action as an intervener party was submitted by the DOJ on April 29, 2022, according to a news release. President Biden’s justice department is now looking into Eagle Forum of Alabama, even though they are not a party to this legal dispute.