ACLJ Sues the Smithsonian, Prepares for Litigation Against National Archives - Both for Targeting Pro-Life Kids
We told you how employees of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., targeted, harassed, and kicked out a group of young pro-life students who came to visit the museum after attending the March for Life. What had they done to be chased out of the federally funded institution? They dared to wear matching blue knit caps that said “Pro-Life.”
Late last night, we filed a federal lawsuit to defend these students and their parents. Our lawsuit detailed more of the horrible experience they endured at the hands of the federal government:
When our clients initially entered the museum, they were told by at least two security officers to remove their hats as they were going through security. They complied, believing this to be a simple security protocol for screening. After passing through security and seeing other individuals wearing expressive attire, the students put their hats back on and viewed the museum exhibits. Thereafter, multiple museum personnel told the students they must remove their hats. Staff could be heard using expletives about the students, many of whom were minors . . . .
The victims were students. They wore matching hats from their Catholic school so their chaperones could keep track of them, which is a very common practice in museums like this. It’s for the safety and organization of the group. It wasn’t a demonstration.
But because of the two seemingly innocuous words on their hats, the students were verbally abused, pelted with profanities, and forced to leave. According to one of the students we’re representing, one of the security guards approached them, gleefully rubbing his hands together, stating they had made his day, before the students were accosted and thrown out. This is blatant religious discrimination in a federally supported museum. No way. Not happening. We aren’t standing for it.
In fact, we’re fighting back in court. The ACLJ just filed a major lawsuit against the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for this outrageous and offensive violation of the First Amendment in kicking out a group of Christian students for wearing pro-life hats. We need to know if these federal employees were following a nefarious directive from somewhere higher up.
The security guards who forced the students to leave told them that the museum was a “neutral zone.” Let’s be honest – do you really think they just made that up? It certainly sounds like a directive handed down from management, meaning it could have been understood as policy. The Smithsonian has since apologized and claims a retraining session was held with its employees after the fact. Even if such a training session occurred, the behavior of the employees was completely unacceptable, and we hope our lawsuit will uncover what really happened, and more importantly, ensure it never happens again.
At the same time, we are also representing additional pro-life clients who experienced the same kind of targeting on the same day – this time at the National Archives. Yes, the same National Archives that can’t keep classified records straight – doesn’t know where the classified documents are or who has them – is still somehow able to target, harass, and threaten to kick out Christians for their pro-life views. Think about that: The building that houses our Constitution was unconstitutionally attacking the free speech of students and others who came to see that sacrosanct document.
We just sent a legal notice to the National Archives of our intent to sue. A lawsuit is coming. But this is just the beginning. Now it’s two federal buildings that have been implicated. We saw the same thing at the beginning of the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal. We won then, and we’ll win again. The federal bureaucracy has been weaponized against life, and we’re going to court to fight back.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast includes more discussion of our latest lawsuit against the Smithsonian and coming legal action against the National Archive for allowing its employees to harass and discriminate against pro-life kids. We must send a clear message to the radical Left that we will never let them mess with our kids.
Watch the full broadcast below: