Pushback: Smithsonian ordered to no longer violate the First Amendment – Behind The Black – Robert Zimmerman

Pushback: The Smithsonian Institute, which runs the Air & Space museum as well as other museums in Washington, D.C., has been ordered by the courts to stop violating the First Amendment, as it did when on January 20, 2023 it harassed and ejected students from a pro-life group, there as part of their participation in the annual March for Life demonstration, because they were wearing wool caps that said “pro-life” on them.

According to the consent order [pdf], the Smithsonian expressed “regret” for the event and promised to “remind all security officers stationed at NASM [National Air & Space Museum] of the rights of visitors.”

The order however does not simply accept the museum’s expression of regret. It specifically enjoins the Smithsonian and its employees “from prohibiting visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum from wearing hats or other clothing with messages, including religious and political speech” and requires it to distribute the consent order to “all security officers stationed at NASM, as well as other Smithsonian personnel who interact with the public, including volunteers and museum staff, within 7 days.” It also orders the museum to tell its security officers that their behavior on January 20th was wrong…..

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