Rep. Chip Roy Challenges DOJ Over Biased FACE Prosecutions

As Americans see new examples of the politicized Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) in the news daily, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) recently voiced serious concerns regarding the federal government’s biased handling of Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) prosecutions.

The FACE Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, was designed to ensure unobstructed access to clinics while protecting the rights of individuals to protest peacefully. Yet, according to Rep. Roy, there appears to be a stark imbalance under Joe Biden in how these laws are being applied. His argument is based on the number of prosecutions targeting pro-life activists compared to those aimed at pro-abortion vandals.

In a letter sent last Friday to Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, Roy laid out this disparity, emphasizing the department’s failure to provide requested data on FACE Act cases. This lack of transparency is especially troublesome given the context of recent cases. For example, six Tennessee pro-life advocates were recently found guilty under the FACE Act and now face severe penalties, including years of imprisonment and hefty fines.

Furthermore, the case of Mark Houck, a pro-life advocate whose home was raided by DOJ officials, has become emblematic of what many see as an overzealous approach by the Biden administration toward pro-life individuals. A jury found Houck not guilty.

The aggressive prosecutions come as the nation is still grappling with the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2022 to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since then, there has been a surge in attacks against pregnancy centers and places of worship, incidents that also fall under the purview of the FACE Act. Yet, the response from the DOJ to these attacks seems lukewarm at best, especially when compared to the vigor with which they prosecute pro-life activists.

Rep. Roy cited data from various sources to show that out of over a hundred uses of the FACE Act, a vast majority targeted pro-abortion activists and abortion providers, leaving a negligible count in defense of pro-life Americans and churches.

Despite asserting the DOJ’s commitment to impartial enforcement of the FACE Act, Clarke has failed to provide clear answers or data to substantiate these claims. Her responses, or lack thereof, during House Judiciary Committee hearings have only fueled concerns of bias.

The FACE Act was meant to protect both sides of a contentious issue, ensuring that the right to peaceful protest and the right to access clinics were both upheld. However, the selective enforcement by the DOJ under the Biden administration threatens to undermine the very principles the law was intended to safeguard.

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