Democrats don’t care for the free speech rights of everyday Americans. It only serves to stop their radical agenda from being put in place.
That’s why Republicans blew the lid off this horrific attack on the First Amendment.
Over the past decade, Democrats have slowly been whittling away at the words and actions they deem socially acceptable.
Now something as innocent as calling someone the wrong pronouns is considered hate speech to many and grounds for losing your job and lifestyle.
Any dissent to their radical ideas is immediately shut down as “hatred” or, in a new development, “stochastic terrorism.”
And their censorship regime just reared its ugly head to the last people you’d ever expect.
Pro-life students at the Smithsonian National Air Space Museum were kicked out for wearing pro-life hats – some were even mocked by the staff.
As a publicly funded entity, the museum has no right to discriminate based off of religious or political beliefs, and Congressional Republicans are making sure they don’t get away with it.
On Tuesday, more than 40 Congressional Republicans wrote to Smithsonian Institute Secretary Lonnie Bunch, wanting to know why Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) employees allegedly threw students out for wearing pro-life hats.
The lawmakers, led by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and others, sent the letter the day after the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed the lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Columbia on behalf of nine students and three parents they claim were “unlawfully targeted for their religious pro-life views” on January 20, 2023.
The students went to the museum after participating in the 50th annual March for Life while wearing “Rosary Pro-Life” hats. According to the lawsuit, museum officials allegedly insulted the students, called them expletives, and told them their hats were “political statements” and that they were “not promoting equality” while they were there.
Staff allegedly told them that the museum is a “neutral zone” and that the First Amendment “doesn’t apply here” before forcing them to leave. According to the complaint, numerous other museum visitors were wearing hats and masks with rainbow “Pride” motifs.
Lawmakers told Bunch that they are “unaware of any laws, rules, or regulation prohibiting members of the public from wearing pro-life hats inside the Smithsonian office buildings.”
“Furthermore, there is a large body of jurisprudence reinforcing citizens’ First Amendment rights on public property,” the letter reads.
“As a federal entity and the recipient of more than $1 billion in federal funds every year, there should be no debate as to whether the First Amendment applies to the Smithsonian. We are deeply concerned about this unjust expulsion of young Americans from museums—subsidized with taxpayer dollars—for wearing apparel that your staff disagreed with,” the letter continues.
Bunch was given a series of questions concerning the incident by lawmakers, who requested him to respond by Feb. 16, 2023.
The questions include:
- Were you made aware of the alleged incident said to have occurred on January 20, 2023?
If so, when were you made aware of the incident?
- Has the Smithsonian conducted any internal investigations into the allegations? Please provide the names of the Smithsonian employees whose conduct is in question.
- What disciplinary action has the Smithsonian taken regarding this incident?
If no action has been taken, please delineate the course of action the Smithsonian plans to take regarding this incident.
- Does the Smithsonian have any policy prohibiting pro-life sentiments from being expressed in its buildings or any policy deeming it a “neutral zone?”
- What efforts have you taken to ensure that the First Amendment rights of all Americans are respected at the Air and Space Museum and an incident like this never occurs again under your leadership?
The students claim that the Smithsonian is infringing on their First and Fifth Amendment rights, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Their attorneys are asking the court to enjoin defendants from “unlawfully targeting Plaintiff, for disparate treatment and particular scrutiny based on content and viewpoint or association.” The lawsuit also requests that museum employees receive “appropriate training” to make sure their “conduct complies with federal law and the United States Constitution.”
In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the case is Kristi L. v. National Air and Space Museum, No. 1:23-cv-335.
Stay tuned to DC Daily Journal.