Senate Republicans this week excoriated Attorney General Merrick Garland for failing to keep the Department of Justice out of politics and warned him against pursuing critics of gender surgeries for minors.

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Texas; Mike Lee, Utah; Marsha Blackburn, Tenn.; Ron Johnson, Wis.; and Roger Marshall, Ks.; sent a letter to the DOJ leader in which they expressed concern that he would use the federal agency to coerce opponents of gender theory.

“In your confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, you promised that, under your watch, the Department of Justice would not be politicized or weaponized,” they said, per the Epoch Times. “You have already broken that promise more than once, and we are concerned you are poised to do so once again.”

The lawmakers said a recent bid from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and Children’s Hospital Association for DOJ intervention against “harassment” for providing “gender-affirming care” merited their reminder of his prior promises. The coalition of healthcare organizations urged the DOJ “to take swift action to investigate and prosecute all organizations, individuals, and entities responsible,” per the Times.

Recalling a prior letter from the National School Board Association asking the Biden administration to take action against parents protesting the instruction of Critical Race Theory or gender theory in schools, the Republicans asserted that Garland’s own response to that request has provoked a litany of other groups to seek DOJ intervention in contentious social and political debates.

“We call upon you to reaffirm that you will faithfully protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans to peacefully debate this and all other policy questions, irrespective of viewpoint…The weaponization of federal law enforcement agencies like the DOJ, in order to produce preferred policy outcomes, cannot continue—our democracy depends on it,” they concluded.

The Republican letter comes after reporting exposed the Vanderbilt University Medical Center providing gender treatments to minors, which in turn prompted Tennessee lawmakers to demand the VUMC immediately halt this practice, which it did.

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