Ted Cruz defended an anti-mask parent who did a Nazi salute at a school board meeting

Ted Cruz defended an anti-mask parent who did a Nazi salute at a school board meeting
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex. Ken Cedeno/AFP via Getty Images
  • Ted Cruz sparred with AG Merrick Garland at a hearing on threats facing school board officials.
  • Cruz and other Republicans decried an October 4 memo issued by Garland to local and state officials.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sen. Ted Cruz defended parents opposed to mask mandates in school, including an Ohio woman who made a Nazi salute at a school board meeting.

The hearing revolved around an October 4 memo that Garland issued, where he asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to, alongside local and state officials, tackle the heightened threats facing public school officials.

"In this hearing I counted 20 incidents cited, of the 20, 15 on their face are non-violent," Cruz said, referring to disturbances at school board meetings brought up by Democrats in the hearing. "They involved insults, they involved a Nazi salute, that's one of the examples," he added.

"My god! A parent did a Nazi salute at a school board meeting because they thought the policy was oppressive. Attorney General Garland, is doing a Nazi salute at an elected official protected by the First Amendment?" Cruz asked Garland.

"Yes it is." Garland replied.


Throughout the hearing and over the last months, Republicans have accused Garland and the Department of Justice of overreaching and restricting parents ability to voice concerns at school board meetings.

Many of the tense meetings around the country have been due to opposition to COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates. Some parents have also been violent at meetings over issues like critical race theory and the rights of transgender students.

Garland faced testy comments from Sen. Tom Cotton as well as other Republicans during the hearing, who called for the memo to be rescinded and for the Attorney General to resign.

"Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court," Cotton told Garland during the hearing.

Garland defended the memo and said it "responds to concerns about violence, threats of violence, other criminal conduct."


"That's all it's about, and all it asks, is for federal law enforcement to consult with, meet with local law enforcement to assess the circumstances, strategize about what may or may not be necessary to provide federal assistance, if it is necessary," Garland told Sen. Chuck Grassley.