Three Senate Republicans and two House GOP lawmakers are demanding answers from the National Air and Space Museum about its employees’ reported discrimination against pro-life students.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina wrote a letter on Tuesday to the Smithsonian Institution asking it to respond to accusations that it infringed on the First Amendment rights of a group of students wearing hats that read “Rosary Pro-Life,” the name of the students’ Catholic school’s pro-life club.
Republican Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma are leading the effort in the House.
After the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, Air and Space Museum employees mocked the students touring the museum and asked them to leave the premises.
Cruz is leading the effort to ask Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, about the incident.
“As members of Congress, we are unaware of any laws, rules, or regulations prohibiting members of the public from wearing pro-life hats inside Smithsonian office buildings,” reads the letter, which several other GOP members of the House and Senate also signed. “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.”
The letter continued:
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 asks Bunch if he was aware of the Jan. 20 incident, whether the Smithsonian has investigated the allegations and whether it is taking disciplinary efforts against the employees who expelled the students, and what he will do to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans at the Air and Space Museum going forward.
Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing some of the students, told Fox News that legal action against the Smithsonian is “imminent.”
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “We’re fighting back.”
The Smithsonian Institution had not responded to an email seeking comment as of this writing.
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