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GOP lawmakers introduce bill calling out Smithsonian for 'troubling' Clarence Thomas omission

Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

Six Senate Republicans are calling out the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture for its omission of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, saying the second black man to serve on the high court should have a "prominent place" in the facility.

"His omission from the National Museum of African American History and Culture is troubling and reflects a disregard for the historical significance of his service to our country," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said when he, along with five other GOP lawmakers, introduced a resolution on the matter.

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Tim Scott (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, signed the resolution.

The Smithsonian's decision not to include Thomas was met with immediate disapproval from conservatives. In the resolution, the GOP senators said Thomas "has made a unique and indelible contribution to the jurisprudence of the United States."

"The life and work of Justice Thomas are an important part of the story of African-Americans in the United States and should have a prominent place in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture," the resolution reads, noting the "great challenges" Thomas overcame to serve the United States.

Defending its decision not to include Thomas in the exhibit, the museum told CNSNews.com in October that, while Thomas is an African-American with "compelling personal stories," the facility "cannot tell every story in our inaugural exhibitions."

GOP Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas) and Buddy Carter (Ga.) introduced a similar resolution in the House.

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