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4/19/2017 6:45 am  #1


Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painting Depicting Police As Pigs

https://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/19/federal-court-rejects-challenge-to-the-removal-of-controversial-painting-depicting-police-as-pigs/#more-113553

https://jonathanturley.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/painting-of-cops-as-animals-640x480-640x480.jpg?w=220&h=166


We previously discussed the controversy over a painting by a constituent of Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay that depicted police as pigs in Ferguson, Missouri.  As we discussed, the House had a right to remove the art and eventually did precisely that.  However, before that decision from the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Cal.) took down the painting.

 Clay called for criminal charges.  When the painting was rehung, another Republican member removed it.  At the time, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them.  Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture.  A lawsuit challenged the actions of the House of Representatives and I expressed my great skepticism over the merits of such a case.

 It appears that U.S. District Judge John D. Bates agrees with that assessment.  In a ruling yesterday, Bates rejected the claim that the Architect’s actions were unlawful in removing the painting by David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri. Pulphus joined Rep. William Clay, in the legal challenge.Bates found that Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers exercised permitted editorial discretion in the selection and presentation of the piece.  

The court noted that the rules of the competition prohibit artworks “depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy” or those of a “sensationalistic or gruesome nature.”

Read the full story at the link!
 


 “We hold these truths to be self-evident,”  former vice president Biden said during a campaign event in Texas on Monday. "All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing.”

 
 

4/19/2017 8:37 am  #2


Re: Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

Art is speech.
Do not fear it.


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

4/19/2017 9:50 am  #3


Re: Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

File this under characteristic #11 in the "14 Characteristics of Fascism":

'Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts'. 

May I recommend the book, " The Rape of Europa" to understand how this was taken to the extreme in Germany prior to WW II.  Not only were the arts attacked, but artists were directed to create works that glorified Germany and the white race.

 

4/19/2017 10:48 am  #4


Re: Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

The question arises is this a problem with free speech or not abiding by rules of the contest. In this case I believe it to be the latter and agree with the judge. Apparently this is an annual Congressional Art Competition involving  high school students. The guidelines for the contest prohibit paintings "depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy" or those of a "sensationalistic or gruesome nature.". Based upon the first criteria alone, I would expect that the painting failed that criteria. Perhaps the rules of the contest are wrong, but that is another matter. 

My understanding is that the painting is now currently in a Rep's office, which seems just fine. 


 


"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"
 
 

4/19/2017 11:11 am  #5


Re: Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

Good point, Tenny.  The criteria was listed so there isn't an argument in this case.

The court noted that the rules of the competition prohibit artworks “depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy” or those of a “sensationalistic or gruesome nature.”

However, who determines what constitutes something politically controversial or sensationalistic?  That's at the heart of what censorship is about.  That, I suppose, is for another topic starter.
 

 

4/19/2017 12:11 pm  #6


Re: Federal Court Rejects Challenge to the Removal of Controversial Painti

That is the legal basis for the removal being allowed.
But I don't think that is why Duncan hunter removed it.


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

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