Non-Profit Organization Was Targeted and Harassed for Advocating Passage of “Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion And Protection Act”

(BIRMINGHAM) – Late yesterday, Eagle Forum of Alabama filed a motion in U.S. federal district court seeking to sanction the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for their unprecedented, invasive politicized subpoena of August 9, 2022. The DOJ was demanding all information related to the non-profit’s legislative activities promoting the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion And Protection Act (VCAP) since 2017.

On October 24, 2022, the Court in its Opinion and Order granting the motion to quash specifically held in its that the subpoena “exceed the scope of discovery” under Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The Court stated that the materials which the DOJ had sought by the subpoena were “unlikely to reveal or lead to any information” that would help resolve the fundamental issue in this case (i.e, whether the VCAP enacted into law by the Alabama Legislature is constitutional), and that “the requested material has little – if any – relevance for purposes of discovery;” and, further, that “the burden of the requested material greatly outweighs any slight relevance it may have.”

“Eagle Forum is seeking sanctions in order to fight for the rights of all non-profit advocacy groups and their much-needed voice in our democratic process,” said Kristen A. Ullman, President of Eagle Forum. “Eagle Forum was unduly burdened when were served this overly- burdensome, politicized subpoena. The resources we had to use to fight it detracted us from our mission and we do not want any American or another advocacy group to suffer the same consequences, even if we disagree with their position.”

“If the DOJ can weaponize a subpoena, and any non-profit is forced to bear the brunt of it, every American would be prevented from engaging in our democratic republic form of government. Freedom of speech and freedom of association will be squelched. The Court recognized the danger that the DOJ could in the future weaponize the subpoena process to go after other political advocacy groups and articulated its concern about the direction the Department was taking. That is why we are seeking sanctions in this case.”

VCAP became effective on May 8, 2022, following consideration in three successive legislative sessions including seven public hearings and passionate legislative campaigns conducted by proponent and opponent advocacy groups and individuals. Final passage was by large majorities in both Alabama chambers. A lawsuit was filed to negate the legislation, a lawsuit Eagle Forum of Alabama was not a party to, and yet Eagle Forum was still subpoenaed by the Department of Justice.

The constitutionality of Alabama’s VCAP law is the subject of Eknes-Tucker, et. al. v. Marshall, et. al., a lawsuit filed in the US District Court on April 19, 2022. On April 29, 2022, the DOJ filed a motion to join as an intervenor-party to the lawsuit. Eagle Forum of Alabama is not a party in this legal action. The DOJ subpoena was broad, intrusive, and meant to harass. It sought 5 ½ years of information, including: all private communications with legislators or anyone else regarding VCAP; every note, meeting minutes, letter, policy goals and strategy effort, speech, presentation materials, research, polling; drafts of the bill or its amendments (which can be found on the legislative website); and documents pertaining to publicly-posted social media and webpages, etc.


Eagle Forum was founded by Phyllis Schlafly, a dynamic and charismatic leader who inspired countless women and men to participate in the process of self-government and public policy-making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, with respect for the nuclear family, public and private virtue, and private enterprise. For nearly fifty years, Eagle Forum’s network of state organizations has led the charge to mobilize the grassroots to defend the founding principles of the United States.

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