A painting that briefly hung in the Capitol building, in which cops were depicted as pigs, is now the centerpiece of a new federal lawsuit.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday on behalf of the painting’s artist, student David Pulphus. Clay argues that removing the painting from the Capitol complex violated the student’s First Amendment rights. He announced the lawsuit in front of the U.S. Capitol early Tuesday afternoon.
The Missouri student’s artwork, which shows cops as pigs with their guns drawn at protesters, won an annual congressional art competition.
House Republicans demanded that the painting be removed, as it violated the House Office Building Commission policies that prohibit depictions of “subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.” The Architect of the Capitol complied with their request and permanently removed the painting.
This occurred after Rep. Duncan Hunter first removed the artwork himself — which was immediately followed up by Clay hanging it again. After switching off between taking it down and putting it back up, it was then removed indefinitely.
“This is really not about a student art competition anymore. This is about protecting the Constitution,” Clay told reporters after it was first removed. “I do not agree or disagree with this painting, but I will fight to defend this young man’s right to express himself because his artwork is true for him and he is entitled to that protection under the law.”
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