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Smithsonian Official Blocks Artist And Author Julian Raven on Twitter Over One Tweet, Free-Speech Federal Lawsuit Filed

Julian Raven blocked by Smithsonian Government Official Director Kim Sajet

The Smithsonian Institution is a private charitable trust

New Book 'Odious and Cerberus: An American Immigrant's Odyssey and his Free-Speech Legal War Against Smithsonian Corruption'

Front cover of new book by artist and former Trump supporter Julian Raven

Government-run free-speech forums on Social Media have garnered attention since the 2017 controversial Knight v Trump 1st Amendment Twitter Lawsuit

The Smithsonian Institution is not and has never been considered a government bureau, it is a private institution under the guardianship of the government”
— William Howard Taft, Chief Justice and Smithsonian Chancellor
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, September 28, 2022 / -- Former British citizen and naturalized American artist and author Julian Raven from the city of Elmira, in upstate New York, has been in an extended constitutional legal war against the Smithsonian Institution since 2016. After a three-and-a-half-year legal battle over the rejection of the artist's Trump campaign presidential portrait submitted for display at the 2017 presidential inauguration, the Smithsonian legal saga has entered a new phase.

With his new book, 'Odious and Cerberus: An American Immigrant's Odyssey and his Free-Speech Legal War Against Smithsonian Corruption' Raven documents his journey into the constitutional quagmire surrounding the Smithsonian Institution. Subsequent to publishing, Raven embarked on an educational initiative to share the findings of his three and a half years of research with the Smithsonian Board of Regents and Congress. Raven mailed copies of his new book to each of the seventeen members of the Board of Regents, members of congress (including his local congressman Joe Sempolinski), Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Director Kim Sajet along with a letter. In the letter, Raven highlighted some of the many legal inconsistencies that he discovered that affected, in his opinion "the corrupt decision in Judge Trevor McFadden's memorandum of opinion from 2018."

Some of the "catastrophic errors", the author claimed were a result of "years of legal confusion, compounded by ignorance regarding the exact legal composition of the Smithsonian Institution." Raven claims the Smithsonian Institution is a private charitable trust simply run by the federal government. In contrast, Judge Trevor McFadden of the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Smithsonian Institution is the federal government "through and through," which was the basis for the court applying the Government Speech Doctrine to the Smithsonian Institution extinguishing Raven's free-speech rights. Raven's case was unprecedented since no other case had ever asked these questions. The unanswered question of federal law provoked an appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which refused Raven's petition for certiorari. (Chief Justice John Roberts who also serves as Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution, and who was also a defendant in the case recused himself.) Raven's case was the first lawsuit against the Smithsonian Institution to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Following up on Raven's mailing, the author took to Twitter to send Secretary Lonnie Bunch and Director Kim Sajet a press release regarding the Board of Regents and congressional educational initiative. He says he was immediately blocked by Director Kim Sajet.

In response, Raven filed a 19-page free-speech lawsuit (22-cv-2809 CRC) claiming viewpoint discrimination and that his 1st Amendment Free-Speech rights were violated. He cites the settled rulings in the Knight First Amendment Institute v Trump, in which the former president was found liable for violating the free-speech rights of the 41 plaintiffs who claimed the Twitter blocking by the president of the United States constituted free-speech violations.

Julian Raven
The Raven Society
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Smithsonian Board of Regents Reform Initiative Exposing Corruption in New Book By Julian Raven

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