A federal judge has rejected a Congressman’s injunction to rehang a highly-controversial painting on the wall of a tunnel that connects the US Capitol with a house office building.
District Court of Columbia Judge John D. Bates ruled that “Untitled #1,” a controversial painting by art student David Pulphus portraying police as wild boars who are hot on the trigger, was legally removed by objecting Congressmen due to its status as “government speech.”
“There is little doubt that the removal of the painting was based on its viewpoint,” Bates wrote in his decision issued Friday. “Although the Court is sympathetic to plaintiffs given the treatment afforded Pulphus’ art, under controlling authority this case involves government speech, and hence plaintiffs have no First Amendment rights at stake.”
The painting had been removed several times by a handful of Republican lawmakers, including California’s Duncan Hunter.
Missouri State Rep William Clay, who had sought the aid of the court in order to get the painting re-hanged, had no comment.
According to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, the painting hung for seven months before conservative bloggers -who felt the racially-charged painting was anti-police- demanded its removal.
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