“Eliminating Ideas is [the] Very Purpose”: The Court Accepts Major Free Speech Case Over Same-Sex Marriage

Below is my column in the Hill on the acceptance of a major new case by the Supreme Court on the issue of free speech and anti-discrimination laws. The nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the subject of today’s Hill column) and the Ukraine war took attention from this addition to the docket. However, this case has the makings of a major course change for the Court.

Here is the column:

Eliminating … ideas is CADA’s very purpose.” Those words from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals about Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act may be some of the most honest but chilling words ever uttered in a federal opinion. The court ruled that a state could not only compel an artist to speak but could prevent that artist from speaking, too.

The idea being eliminated in this instance is the view of artist Lorie Smith that marriage is “an institution between one man and one woman.” For Smith, it’s an idea grounded in faith, while for her critics, it is grounded in discrimination. Now, her case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, was just accepted by the Supreme Court to determine if that “very purpose” is the very thing that the First Amendment is designed to prevent.

Last year, I described the court’s current session as a “train whistle docket” of major cases that are likely to produce significant changes in areas like abortion, gun rights, and race criteria in college admissions. That whistle seems to get louder by the day. Indeed, this docket is a virtual listing of unfinished business for a court majority that may finally have coalesced around clear standards in areas long left murky by a divided court.

This latest case seems uniquely framed to reinforce free speech on religious values in conflicts with anti-discrimination laws.

Many years ago, I wrote an academic piece on how anti-discrimination laws would inevitably collide with free-speech and free-exercise rights. Those conflicts continued to mount across the country. In 2018, the court was thought to be ready to clarify the applicable standards in the case of a religious cake shop owner who refused to make cakes for same-sex couples. The court ultimately punted in that case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruling for the owner yet leaving uncertainty over the constitutional limitations on cities and states under anti-discrimination law.

Smith’s case has long been a focus for some of us. I have written in favor of taking a free-speech approach to these cases rather than treating them as conflicts under the Constitution’s religion clauses. For that reason, one aspect of this grant of review was immediately notable. The court agreed to consider only one question: “Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”

Both of the questions initially raised by Smith referenced the religion clauses, but the court carefully excised the other claims to focus solely on free speech. That is precisely what some of us have advocated as the best way of resolving these disputes, and it could signal that a new, bright line will be drawn in this case.

It would be difficult to pick a case that more highlighted both the free-speech rights of artists but also the anti-free-speech elements of some of these laws. Smith is an artist and website designer who wants to use her skills to design wedding websites. She is also deeply religious and wants to promote her view of marriage as between one man and one woman. While she (like the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner) said she would work with LGBT customers, she stated that she would not create designs celebrating marriages that violate her religious values. She also wanted to post a statement explaining those values.

I fundamentally disagree with Smith’s views on same-sex marriage and have supported such marriages for decades. However, one’s personal views or values should not matter in determining whether Smith has a right to the expression of her own views as an artist.

That brings us to the most striking aspect of the 10th Circuit opinion. Many past courts have sought to reject these cases as free-speech conflicts or to minimize the degree to which speech is being curtailed or denied. The 10th Circuit was neither evasive nor ambiguous. It agreed that this case involved “pure speech” and that the state was forcing her both to say things she opposed and to not say things she supported. It further agreed that this denial required the satisfaction of the most stringent constitutional standard: the strict scrutiny test. It then said all of that was perfectly constitutional. The court ruled that the state could create a type of “pro-LGBT gerrymander” forcing religious artists to celebrate same-sex marriage while protecting the speech rights of secular artists.

The opinion has other notable elements. For example, it declares that Smith’s designs are “unique services [which] are, by definition, unavailable elsewhere.” Yet, it admits that “LGBT consumers may be able to obtain wedding-website design services from other businesses.” Thus, Smith’s status as an artist works against her. Couples want to force her to celebrate their marriage, relying on her unique artistic skills; either she creates these images for LGBT marriages, or she cannot create such images for any marriages.

After years of obfuscation and avoidance, the court finally has a free speech case without exit ramps or extraneous issues.

Free speech offers a clear path and precedent for addressing these conflicts. For example, a Jewish baker asked to make a “Mein Kampf” cake, or a Black baker asked to make a KKK cake, should be able to refuse those jobs as offensive to them. People may agree or disagree with their values; some may even boycott their stores. However, “public accommodation” should not mean “compelled public speech.” Likewise, it should not allow the government to ban an artist from expressing her views on the sanctity of marriages, even if many of us reject her views.

Colorado’s arguments in the case only heightened free-speech concerns. It stressed that a business is not required to design a website proclaiming “God is Dead” if it would decline such a design for any customer. Yet when Smith said she would not design a website celebrating same-sex marriage for any customer, the state said that was discrimination.

The appeals court resolved this conflict with a bludgeon of a rationale: Some views are simply intolerable. According to the court, an artist espousing faith-based objections to same-sex marriage is simply one of those views that must be excised “from the public dialogue” and “eliminating such ideas is CADA’s very purpose.”

In his powerful dissent, Chief Justice Timothy Tymkovich starts with a poignant quote from George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” The Supreme Court will now decide if liberty can exist if you not only are barred from saying things that people do not want to hear but also compelled to say the things that they do.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

145 thoughts on ““Eliminating Ideas is [the] Very Purpose”: The Court Accepts Major Free Speech Case Over Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. Paul says:

    “The soldiers in WW 2 made fun of Tokyo Rose.”

    My knowledge of this is gleaned from Hollywood movies. I don’t know whether this is accurate or Hollywood propaganda. I thought she was prosecuted after the war. Seems the US did not find her amusing.

    You say:

    “And for those who ” fell” for the propaganda I am sure that ” Good speech” was offered to them by their fellow combatants. And again, if that didn’t work, they have the right to be stupid.”

    I don’t understand your concept of the “right to be stupid.” Who wants to be stupid? Are you suggesting that people should be given the privilege of being stupid? That those who are not stupid should allow stupidity to reign? Unfortunately, society does allow the irrational beliefs of people of faith to be tolerated. This “religious privilege” has been this country’s undoing.

    You say:

    “The “POTENTIAL demoralizing effect” is outweighed by censorship.”

    Not even Fox News is airing live Trump’s rallies because of the deleterious effect of his repeated Big Lie. It has decided to censor Trump. Not a word from Turley about this Little Brother censorship.

    1. “I don’t understand your concept of the “right to be stupid.” Who wants to be stupid? ”

      You should read what you write, and you will have your answer.

    2. Jeff, My point of using the Tokyo Rose and Hanoi Jane was to show that propaganda has been used forever. Whether or not the soldiers made fun of them is anecdotal I admit. The fact that Tokyo Rose was prosecuted gives credence to her actual role in the propagation of propaganda. Propaganda by definition, is ” misinformation”. A word that I have come to hate. As I have said before ” misinformation” is a term now used to defend those who refuse to do their ” homework”. Which leads me to your second conundrum of my post. ” The right to be stupid”.
      Nobody wants to be stupid. Although some feign that condition because to admit to certain things would destroy their position in an argument. I can’t really split the hairs of ” the right to be stupid” and ” the privilege of being stupid”. But my answer to both would be ” YES”. And ” those who are not stupid” should try to educate those who are. But that is a job that unfortunately has been impossible for some since the beginning of time. Some, like myself, have only become less stupid by learning from prior mistakes. For instance, I used to be a Democrat.
      You say ” Unfortunately society does allow the irrational beliefs of people of faith to be tolerated”. Here we go again. The problem is WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS IRRATIONAL?
      You? Me? The government?. I have a vastly different reason for this ” countries undoing”. Too long to go into it now but a main tenet is the lack of personal responsibility. It is always someone else’s fault. I got a red bike at 10 years old rather than the blue bike I asked for. Therefore anti social behavior should be excused. What makes a person successful in life is overcoming obstacles. Not using those obstacles as an excuse for failure. Or worse yet, allowing for the new favorite embracement of many. Real or perceived victimhood.
      As far as Fox, you have stated many times that private news organizations have the right to put on whatever content that they deem fit. I agree.
      Maybe their demographics tell them that viewership would not be sufficient to air a Trump rally. But I am glad that you got to put a Fox news reference into a post that has absolutely nothing to do with cable news.
      Keep up the good work.

      1. Paul asks:

        “The problem is WHO GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS IRRATIONAL?”

        Whoever has the most and solid evidence on their side and a sound logical argument. Those who have no evidence or have less evidence than the other side or make an illogical argument are irrational. We have scientific panels and courts of law to determine who is and who is not rational.

        I’m all for personal responsibility. If you want to be held accountable, you must tell the truth. It is irresponsible to lie as Trumpists do. You say it’s irresponsible to claim “it is always someone else’s fault.” Agreed. Has Trump EVER admitted fault? He can’t even admit it was his fault he lost the ejection! And what about the “forgotten man living in fly over country.” Trumpists are very skilled at playing the victim card against all those coastal educated elites.

        I don’t believe that Fox is censoring Trump lawyers by banning them as well as refusing to broadcast Trump’s lies during his rallies. Turley does. He often complains about the MSM censoring the Hunter Biden scandal. The MSM just prefer to report allegations of presidential corruption, i.e., Trump, over allegations of corruption of the *son* of a president. I have no doubt that if and when Hunter is indicted, the MSM will break the news on all their networks and will give it the coverage it deserves. Admittedly, each network is biased. I simply criticize Turley for deliberately ignoring the bias of his network.

        1. Jeff, ” a sound logical argument” these days are too often in the eye of the beholder. And what was considered ” evidence” yesterday, is now considered conjecture today.
          Remember there was NO WAY the virus came from the Wuhan lab. Now it is “probable”. Masks stop the spread of the virus. Now not so much. ” If you are vaccinated, you will not have to wear a mask” said Dementia Joe. Then shortly thereafter ” You are unpatriotic if you don’t wear a mask. The CDC has admitted it withheld pertinent information about the efficacy of the vaccines. Why? To protect the American public. They had to once again, save us from ourselves. ( I am fully vaccinated ). I don’t need to be saved.
          This is why censorship unless the transference of information calls for lawlessness, is to be avoided at all costs. Not going to give all of the previous examples but if you want to spread the story far and wide that the pyramids were built by aliens, a totally insane proposition, SO WHAT??
          And no Trump will never admit any fault. Narcissists never do. But I think the last high ranking political office holder that took any kind of responsibility for a bad outcome was Kennedy with the Bay of Pigs. Dementia Joe still claims the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a ” rousing success”. I have a better belief in the pyramids being built by aliens
          ( I was not alive then), than I do with the withdrawal that I saw with my own eyes.
          And I do agree, Turley does ignore the bias of the network that he contributes to.

          1. Paul says:

            “Jeff, ” a sound logical argument” these days are too often in the eye of the beholder. And what was considered ” evidence” yesterday, is now considered conjecture today.”

            That’s too facile. An argument is either sound or unsound. It’s logic not unlike math. And the weight of evidence is not nearly so subjective; otherwise, we could never rely upon evidence in a court of law. While there is no certainty in life, we can make our way just fine relying on probabilities. As a betting man, you should appreciate that.

            I’m not aware that anyone said that there is *no way* the virus came from the lab though people did doubt it. It now seems that it did not: https://fortune.com/2022/02/28/covid-wuhan-trump-lab-leak-study-market-animal-human-transmission/

            You don’t need to be saved from yourself. Great. Many people do however. Pity them.

            I’m with you as to no censorship by government. The issue is censorship by the private sector. If a private party can be sued for defamation for publishing a libel or stating a slander, then they must self-censor to avoid liability. If they can self-censor for that reason, they can self-censor for any, e.g., not wanting to spread a likely false narrative because it will harm its journalistic integrity.

            As to the withdrawal of Afghanistan, there is a difference between “spinning” and “lying.” Both are made in bad faith. The latter is provable false and the former is a matter of opinion. The only reason Biden can claim that the withdrawal was a success is due to the fact that it could have been much worse. I would not claim it was a success. I would say only that it could have been worse.

            1. Jeff,
              On the virus, both Fauci and Collins stated in the beginning that there was no possibility that it came from the lab. That, in my opinion, was to cover their own ass. I will not get into the which individuals were responsible for the gain of function experiments at the lab. But it is a fact that gain of function was happening and U.S. tax dollars were sent to Wuhan. As far as your link, I have said before for as many links that one can produce advocating for their position, I can post one showing the opposite. I will not engage in that ” war”. I am comforted that you didn’t use a totally biased link like you have before like one from Slate. Might as well post from Pravda.
              Interesting that you use math as an absolute. I thought it was racist.
              You are correct. A private entity can censor for any reason that it chooses. But today I don’t think the fear of litigation is the driving force. It is bias. Which both sides do. That is where the ” homework” part comes in. As for the ” many people that do” the price of saving them through censorship is in my mind, too big of a price to pay for society. As for private censorship that emanates from bias, ” Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
              On Afghanistan, The “It could have been worse ” claim of success, is ” spinning” to the max. I guess that logic holds for any endeavor that fails .I guess Pearl Harbor was a success for America because only 2, 403 personnel including 68 civilians died. Could have been 2,500. Only 19 Navy ships were destroyed or damaged. Could have been 25.
              Using that kind of logic, I am confident that Biden would have given Kimmel a medal rather than relieving him of his duties.
              It’s getting warmer here. Dinner offer holds.
              As always, thank you from the respectful discourse.

              1. Paul says:

                “On the virus, both Fauci and Collins stated in the beginning that there was no possibility that it came from the lab.”

                I don’t recall them being that definitive as you claim. Can you cite a specific quotation? I don’t know about the gain of function controversy. Honestly, I did not follow these controversies. I got vaccinated as quickly as I could.

                I don’t agree with anyone that says math is racist. I’m not that Leftwing. I sometimes take issue with Natacha, for instance. I believe in solid evidence and good faith arguments. The fact that I don’t dispute the majority of Turley’s positions and opinions and defend him against those who mischaracterize him as a Trumpist demonstrates that I am fair-minded. I just oppose dishonesty and hypocrisy (which is the same thing).

                As for Afghanistan, I can’t judge the success or failure of that pull out. If there is one thing I have learned about lawyering, that is, don’t render an opinion until and unless one gets all the facts. I prefer to admit that I don’t know rather than to shoot my mouth off. I would not hazard a guess one way or the other unless I could learn what the military did to prevent the catastrophe which emerged. Was the military negligent in protecting the airbase? Could the guards have stopped a lone suicide bomber amidst all those civilians? I just can’t answer those questions assuredly. So I won’t pretend to. I don’t trust Biden’s take of a “success,” but, by the same token, I don’t trust the Trumpists who assert that Trump could have done better.

                1. “If there is one thing I have learned about lawyering, that is, don’t render an opinion until and unless one gets all the facts.”

                  It is seldom that all the facts are known, which explains your lack of opinion except those things involving Trump and Turley. In those two cases, you have plenty of opinion and almost no facts.

                2. Jeff, I was being sarcastic with the math /racist thing. As a sarcastic person yourself you should have recognized this.
                  Last May in front of the Senate not only did Fauci say that the virus could not have emanated from the lab, he said ” The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology”. Not only claiming that the virus didn’t ” escape” ,it was not being produced there. On October 20th the NIH deputy director in writing directly contradicted Fauci.
                  In a 2021 Fauci and Collins co authored an op-ed that called gain of function research ” a risk worth taking”. You connect the dots.
                  I too share your abhorrence of hypocrisy. But I don’t think that being dishonest automatically makes you a hypocrite .All of us have lied. Not all of us are hypocrites. To me a hypocrite in it’s most generous terms is ” do as I say ,not as I do”. Great example are recent demonstrations by Democratic leaders , Lightfoot, Breed, Newsom, Garcetti, Bowser who were all shown maskless while enforcing mask mandates. THAT IS HYPOCRISY!! The actual definition is “The practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have higher moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform”.
                  Now the lying part ( dishonesty), is when being caught without a mask on indoors at a football game, you insult the intelligence of everyone, by saying during a picture taking event, ” I was holding my breath” , as Mayor Garcetti did.

                  I know this is somewhat related but if Biden had given the Ukrainian army the same weapons that he left behind in his” successful” withdrawal from Afghanistan that the Taliban now has, Putin would be far worse off than he is today.

                  1. Paul,

                    I don’t want to prevaricate, but I would need to see the link to the articles in order to get the full context of these statements of Fauci. I don’t deny that Fauci could lie, but Fox News has had a jihad against this hard-working and dedicated civil servant. Consequently, I do not trust the Rightwing media.

                    I agree that you can be a hypocrite without being a liar UNLESS you deny that you have been a hypocrite once the hypocrisy has been exposed!

                    I don’t deny that Liberals and Democrats can be liars and hypocrites.

                    I have no clue which weapons the military (not Biden) left behind in Afghanistan that the Taliban now have (I thought the military destroyed the best weapons). Putin would be worse off if we give Ukraine all the weapons it needs to defend itself. We got plenty.

                    1. Ok Jeff, I think we have exhausted our discourse on these topics.
                      Thank you again for the respectful conversation.
                      On to the next topic. Not sure what that will be.
                      Take care.

                    2. ” Fox News has had a jihad against this hard-working and dedicated civil servant.”

                      Mr. Generalities absent fact, provide specifics.

            2. “An argument is either sound or unsound. It is logic, not unlike math.” Then allowing any argument, not matter how ridiculous or offensive, should pose no threat to anyone. Censorship is wrong. The light of reason will shine through.

  2. I thought that the rule was that it is not really censorship when a private organization is the ine that does it.

    1. UNLESS that private entity is servicing a “place of public assembly” or general offering to the public. Then, you don’t have have the freedom to act or speak freely, but come under civil rights antidiscrimination laws.

  3. OT: I wonder if Turley will denounce all the countries who are now banning RussianTV (RT) from their countries. It is well-known that truth is the first casualty of war. Had the Allies the technology to ban German and Japanese radio propaganda, would that not have been an infringement of the soldier’s and civilian’s freedom of speech? While I realize that the foreign actors are not protected under our Bill of Rights, Turley has said that he values free speech as a *human right* which seemingly transcends our Constitution. After all, he has stated that freedom of speech should prohibit even “Little Brother” censorship despite the fact that private censorship is NOT subject to the First Amendment. Because Putin’s lies and RT’s false narratives can be inoculated by good speech, I presume that Turley would condemn ANY censorship whatsoever. Despite its potential demoralizing effect on the fighting spirit of soldiers and civilians, they have a god-given right to hear for themselves Russian lies to determine if there is any truth in them.

    1. Jeff, you and I both know that RT would not allow false narratives to be inoculated by good speech. So your hypothesis is moot. In my opinion, if free speech is a human tight as Turley suggests, no RT should not be censored. The soldiers in WW 2 made fun of Tokyo Rose. It was a form of entertainment. Same with Hanoi Jane in Vietnam. My guess is that in many instances it probably raised moral. These brave men were seeing friends maimed and killed next to them on almost a daily basis. I doubt their moral would be adversely effected by a radio broadcast. And for those who ” fell” for the propaganda I am sure that ” Good speech” was offered to them by their fellow combatants. And again, if that didn’t work, they have the right to be stupid.
      As with most decisions in life, there is no 100% right answer. You weigh the pros against the cons. The ” POTENTIAL demoralizing effect” is outweighed by censorship.

      1. Turley has said that he believes the freedom of speech is a human right. Therefore, it applies to ALL humans including Russians.

  4. A few things to note about this case. Firstly, Smith’s website that celebrates weddings does not even exist yet. She wants to create a website as part of her expanding business venture but hasn’t yet. Secondly, let’s say she is given the right to refuse service. Could she refuse service to people of different races under the guise of free speech or even religious liberty? As Abraham Lincoln noted, both the north and the south shared the same Bible but interpreted it differently. Until the Civil Rights Era, some used the Bible to DEFEND slavery, referencing where Noah cursed the people of Canaan which only until recently were perceived as being African. So is the court hereby going to allow any private business to discriminate/deny services based on religious beliefs and/or free speech, or will it only pertain to the LGBT community? Also, our national anti discrimination workplace laws protect LGBT peoples with Gorsuch of all people writing the majority opinion (paired with Roberts and the three liberals) to include sexual orientation to fall under the definition of “sex.” Does this change anything or is this going to solely be pertinent to business ventures but not hiring practices or impacts on federal protections for public workers?!

    1. You and your pal Groucho, sorry, Gorsuch are terrifyingly confused. Where to start?

      – The sole charge of the judicial branch is to assure that actions comport with law and fundamental law; the judicial branch has no authority to legislate, modify legislation, or modify legislation by “interpretation.”

      – Smith’s website is private property, and only she may “claim and exercise” dominion over said property – law enforcement must remove e-trespassers at her request.
      __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

      “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

      – James Madison
      ______________

      – The Constitution provides rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities to UNDIFFERENTIATED people, and the Constitution does not provide rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities, or favor, to DIFFERENTIATED people (what the —- does TBHG mean anyway – no, I don’t wanna know, keep it to yourself).

      – There is no slavery in America.

      – Government cannot establish religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.

      – Workers are free to accept or reject employment on the terms of the employer.

      – Abraham Lincoln was a God-less communist, and an adroit and exploitative politician.
      ____________________________________________________________________

      “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

      – Abraham Lincoln, from his first speech as an Illinois state legislator, 1837
      __________________________________________________________

      “Everyone now is more or less a Socialist.”

      – Charles Dana, managing editor of the New York Tribune, and Lincoln’s assistant secretary of war, 1848

      “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”

      – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
      _________________

      “The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.”

      – Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Lincoln, 1864
      ________________________________________________________________

      Letter of Congratulation From Karl Marx to Abraham Lincoln:

      https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/iwma/documents/1864/lincoln-letter.htm

    2. Additionally, you are free to advocate for the cause of your choice in the free markets of the private sector, and amend the Constitution – do get a good night’s sleep.

    3. “[L]et’s say she is given the right to refuse service.”

      “Given”?!

      Since when is the government in the business of *giving* rights? The purpose of government is to *protect* individual rights. In this case, one of those rights is freedom of association.

  5. “major course change for the Court” (Turley)

    Why should the standard of Hearings within the Rotunda of the Court be any different,
    the Panel of Nine be it: latterly-balanced, asymmetrically-balanced, or unilaterally-balanced [?].
    (Pls Explain)

    It is the Responsibilities(s) of the Solicitor General to tickle the “train whistle docket” as you put it.
    So indeed She must have found it ripe and granted it Certiorari.

    As for Your oppugn (questioning the validity) of its timing, I say why not now.
    Solicitor Prelogar was chosen by the current Administration, hence One would think that She would be ‘progressive’
    and welcome cases such as this, rather than keep stocking the same old Housekeeping.

    … Solicitor General Prelogar was nominated by President Joe Biden on August 11, 2021, was confirmed by the United States Senate and received her commission on October 28, 2021, and was sworn in by Attorney General Garland the next day. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two young sons. …

    Mr. Turley – May I recommend its time to take Vacation – Your never Happy.

    Affiant Sayeth Not (All You Need To Know Mr.)

    Refs.:
    Responsibilities of the Solicitor General
    https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Solicitor_General#cite_note-office-1

    Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar 48th Solicitor General of the United States
    https://www.justice.gov/osg/staff-profile/meet-solicitor-general

    1. Nowhere Man

      The Beatles

      He’s a real nowhere man
      Sitting in his nowhere land
      Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
      Doesn’t have a point of view
      Knows not where he’s going to

      He’s as blind as he can be
      Just sees what he wants to see

      Doesn’t have a point of view
      Knows not where he’s going to

      He’s a real nowhere man
      Sitting in his nowhere land
      Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
      Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
      Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

      – Nowhere Man, 1965 (excerpted)

  6. “Free speech offers a clear path and precedent for addressing these conflicts. For example, a Jewish baker asked to make a “Mein Kampf” cake, or a Black baker asked to make a KKK cake, should be able to refuse those jobs as offensive to them.”

    Have I missed another case or has the LGBTQ community only targeted Christian-owned businesses? Have they done this to any other religion? I’d love to see them pull this same stunt against any Muslim or Jewish establishment, were refused service and sued. I think it would tie the liberal community in knots as they try to figure out which identity group to throw under the bus first.

    1. People of Transgender Spectrum (LGBTQ) are notoriously, but not universally, politically congruent (“=”), a Pro-Choice (i.e. selective, opportunistic, ethical or relativistic frame) religious doctrine.

  7. A few years ago, a Russian fighter invaded Turkish air space and Turkey shot it down. Article 5 might be able to be invoked retroactively. A definition of “attack” is: “An attempt to cause damage, injury to, or death of opponent or enemy.” There have been countless times when Russian fighters have threatened American military aircraft and ships, threats that could have been interpreted as attacks.

    ***

    A fast-track to NATO membership for Ukraine could have prevented this atrocity. Now Russia gets to gobble-up the entire territory of Ukraine just because a little corruption prevented membership from happening? Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      1. We can only hope so.
        If Ukraine can hold them off for a month then the quick and dirty win Putin banked on will collapse.

  8. “Gay marriage” is an oxymoronic contradiction in terms.

    Americans cannot be compelled to engage in nonsensical “newspeak.”

    The condition of being “gay” or homosexual is terminal as no self-replication or childbirth is possible.

    Marriage derives from Mary, Mother of God, and is an institution of propagation and motherhood.

    Matrimony derives from mater, the Latin word for mother.

    Marriage, or matrimony, is an institution that facilitates the fertilization, gestation and birth of children.

    Free citizens may engage in contracts regarding personal and enterprise relationships.

    Only the owner of private property may “claim and exercise dominion” over his private property.

    Congress is provided no power to compel social acceptance or deny the freedom of discrimination.

    The freedoms of speech, thought, opinion, choice and discrimination are not qualified by the Constitution and are, therefore, absolute.

    That ones does not like the result of freedom, does not nullify the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  9. Anti-Discrimination laws are unconstitutional; they deny constitutional rights and freedoms.

    The Constitution does not provide Congress any power to conduct economic or social central planning.

    Free market competition produces the best product at the lowest price.

    Freedom of speech, thought, opinion and discrimination produce the society desired by free people.

    The character and configuration of society is a function and result of freedom, of free choice.

    Free people may discriminate against people who are free to discriminate.

    The freedoms of speech, thought, opinion, choice and discrimination are provided to the undifferentiated “People” by the Constitution.

    The freedoms of speech, thought, opinion, choice and discrimination are not qualified by the Constitution and are, therefore, absolute.

    Government exists to facilitate freedom and free enterprise through the provision of security and infrastructure.

    Only the owners of private property may “claim and exercise dominion” over private property.

    Property damage and bodily injury are illegal.

    Property damage may be litigated and bodily injury may be prosecuted.

    Either freedoms are absolute or they don’t exist.

  10. Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act was crafted by legal eagles with clear motives. I still see signs in certain restaurants which read ‘We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.’ In the past roughly two years, restaurants were ordered by local, state and federal authorities to refuse service to any patron who wasn’t wearing a mask, and/or could not or would not produce a government-approved vaccination card. That’s discrimination, isn’t it. Discrimination when it’s convenient for regulatory authorities—as opposed to a women with website design skills that she wants to retain the right to offer only to those willing patrons with whom she wishes to share them. Her reasons for not sharing are clear — and they’re not based upon race, and they are not based on gender, and they are not based upon the physical attributes of possible patrons (overweight, disabled, etc.). They are based upon her belief in the Bible, which has always been protected in this country from its founding. The movement that led to legitimizing gay marriage opened up a pandorra’s box of issues, and this is one of them. I did find it interesting that this women in Colorado provides certain of her services to the LGBT community, but is not willing to create a web site CELEBRATING gay marriages. I will be watching how this case is ruled upon by the SCOTUS. I wonder if Biden’s new court nominee, Judge Jackson, will be asked how she would rule in a case like this, and how she would avoid answering the question.

  11. Ukraine should be given the means to cause retaliatory destruction to Russia: ballistic missiles, bombers, nuclear weapons, etc. This keeps American soldiers out of the conflict, while giving Ukraine a fighting chance.

  12. Why haven’t we been in another war with Germany and Japan since 1945? War with Russia by any other nation could have been prevented if Russia had been prevented from building up its military, just as Germany and Japan were prevented from doing so. But that would have been too sane and rational…

  13. All personal relationships between adults are an individual choice regardless of whether they are platonic, heterosexual, homosexual, or nonexistent.

    Marriage is not a license to perform sex acts on your spouse, marriage has nothing to do with sex, sex is simply part of some relationships. Marriage is the public proclamation of an existing relationship between two consenting individuals. In our culture, marriage is a binding civil contract between two people that intend to legally share with each other and that contract is subject to State and Federal laws that regulate contracts. Marriage is not part of the Constitution; therefore, the Constitution does not guarantee the “right” to marry nor does the Constitution deny the “right” to marry, the only way marriage is related to the Constitution is contracts and civil liberties.

    I firmly believe that I have no more right to dictate your personal relationships than you have to dictate mine. I think that marriage is a legal civil contract between two consenting adults and is a civil liberty for all; plus, religious weddings should be restricted based on their religion, but this in no way restricts the civil contract of “marriage”. I believe that my rights do not end where your rights begin and your rights do not end where my rights begin, our rights coexist and are equivalent. You are welcome to your opinions and beliefs but that doesn’t give you the right to discriminate against me or suppress my rights and I am welcome to my opinions and beliefs but that does not give me the right to discriminate against you or suppress your rights. Based on my beliefs; I think that the Supreme Court should rule any part of any law, or action of an individual, to be unconstitutional if it allows an individual to use their rights to suppress the rights of another.

    When bigotry is allowed to define laws today it sets a precedence so bigoted laws against YOU can be created tomorrow.

    If the Supreme Court does not find that the store owner, aka “artist”, suppressed the rights of the customer then they MUST rule in favor of the artist.

    Clearly store owners have individual rights (like everyone else) and those rights include making choices based on their religious beliefs as long as those choices do not suppress the rights of others, so the people claiming that their rights have been infringed upon by store owners must prove their claim.

    1. Marriage in our “culture” has historically been between a man and a woman–not same sex. That this “cultural tradition” has been turned on its head is a source of much discord within our society. If as you “think, that marriage is a legal civil contract between two consenting adults and is a civil liberty for all”, then stay with Same Sex Civil Unions. On three separate referendum ballots, California citizens overwhelmingly rejected same sex marriages as having an identity standing equivalent to Traditional Cultural Heterosexual Marriage. Men and women in black robes overturned these votes in an attempt to rewrite “Cultural Tradition”.

  14. Really 10th Circuit? The Judges that agreed with this opinion should not be judges. There is no exception to free speech unless there is direct physical harm. We have such snowflakes in this country that any word is deemed aggressive to them, it’s really insane.

  15. I fear that we have unleashed the generation that will make Reagan’s prediction come true. They do not know what used to be called “Civics. They don’t know history (apologies to Chuck Berry). They don’t know math as their abuse of statistics in support of the CoV-19 pandemic and Climate Change™. I could go on but the point is made.

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

    ― Ronald Reagan

    1. Ray– The Ukraine people, especially its former talk-show host President, are exhibiting awe-inspiring courage in a seemingly hopeless fight to preserve freedom. It is in stark contrast to our generation whose greatest fear is that someone will call them by the wrong pronoun or that they will have to endure the trauma of seeing a statue of Thomas Jefferson.

  16. Jonathan: My answer is simple. Artist Lorie Smith is entitled to her own personal anti-LGBTQ views based on her religious beliefs. But when she decides to enter commerce and advertise her services as a web designer she shouldn’t be able to discriminate in “public accommodations”. If I were to open a restaurant and displayed a sign in the window “WHITES ONLY”, based on my religious beliefs, would that also be protected “free speech”? If Clarence Thomas were to come into my restaurant to eat and I said: “Didn’t you see the sign in the window?” what do you think would be Thomas’ reaction? Do you think Thomas would endorse your absolutist approach to “free speech”? Probably, which shows how far to the right you and Thomas have gone.

    Speaking of “eliminating ideas” have you seen what is going on at the white nationalist CPAC convention this week in Orlando? Marjorie Taylor Greene, the rabid anti-trans Republican, spoke last night. She railed against “the Democrats who are the communist party of the United States of America”. How? Because the Dems support the rights of the trans community. No doubt Lorie Smith would have applauded Greene had she been present. Greene was followed by other luminaries of the far-right.

    Senator Rick Scott will also speak at the CPAC convention. Scott, the former governor of the sunshine state and who presided over the largest Medicare fraud in US history, has an “11 Point Plan to Rescue America” that he hopes the GOP will adopt this year and in 2024. Scott says “the nuclear family [the LGBTA community excluded] is crucial to civilization, it is God’s design for humanity…the fanatical left seeks to devalue and redefine the traditional family”. Probably music to Laurie Smith’s ears. And Scott goes further. He is advocating “compelled public speech”, something you complain about in Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. In his “Plan” Scott wants public school kids to be “compelled” to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, “salute the flag, learn that America is a great country”. What if a student refuses to “salute the flag”? Probably dire consequences under Scott’s “Plan”. Scott’s “Plan” is already bearing fruit. In Florida where teachers will soon no longer be able to discuss sexual identity.

    There is now a thin line between what used to be the Republican Party and far-right white nationalists. CPAC is also facing scrutiny for other reasons. A number of foreign CPAC aligned groups from Hungary, South Korea and Japan are paying to “sponsor” the convention So CPAC is taking tens of thousands in fees from foreign interests. CPAC is a 501(c)3 charity and is not registered as a foreign representative. under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. This has prompted a complaint to the DOJ.

    So the real “free speech” rights in this country are under attack by the far right and the GOP–from limiting what teachers can discuss to voter suppression laws. But that’s something you don’t want to discuss.

    1. What a load of crap. It is time to redraw the anti-discrimination line to only include immutable characteristics observable by the average citizen.

      This leftist attack on free speech must be terminated.

    2. “But when she decides to enter commerce and advertise her services as a web designer,” she must be compelled to obey the government-approved ideology.

      Now your statement is accurate.

    3. This is neither in agreement nor disagreement with the points in your comment. It is a ‘however:’ as to the foreign agent discussion, let’s not forget that George Soros and his money begin as foreign cash. Has the DOJ investigated George Soros and all of his subsidiaries who draw his foreign cash? I think the answer is ‘no.’

    4. “If I were to open a restaurant and displayed a sign in the window “WHITES ONLY”, based on my religious beliefs, would that also be protected “free speech”?”

      Why limit it to “religious” beliefs? Why should they get an exception? In this day and age, why shouldn’t businesses be able to discriminate for a host of reasons? The business owners are the ones taking the risks. One of those risks should be the risk of alienating any potential group of customers based on any characteristic you care to name.

    5. “There is now a thin line between what used to be the Republican Party and far-right white nationalists.”

      It’s opinions like yours that make people wish you were partially correct. Grow the hell up. If you don’t like the fact I don’t want to make a homo cake, get the public sector to provide you with one. Eat Me.

    6. “So the real “free speech” rights in this country are under attack by the far right and the GOP–from limiting what teachers can discuss to voter suppression laws. But that’s something you don’t want to discuss.

      Blah blah blah. “voter suppression” Only clowns and people manipulating fools use the kind of language you use. How about we give out a voter ID with every vaxx passport??? Is that voter suppression?

      I can only think that people that write things as you do are being paid to do so and must shower everytime they post. Ugh. Sickening the level of lameness and mediocrity.

    7. Why is it so difficult to differentiate between public accomodation as it applies to a retail establishment and a contract to perform work? To apply this to your restaurant example it would be like saying anyone can eat there but the owner gets to choose to whether or not to enter into a contract to cater an event.

      Why would anyone want to force another person to work? Isn’t there another word for that? Would you expect someone under duress to do their best work? Aren’t the natural circumstances of a contract an amicable mutual agreement, at least at the outset?

      These antidiscrimination lawsuits are harassment and the people waging this cultural warfare are not inspiring tolerance. Their need to crush anyone who does not share their worldview is intolerant and illiberal and deserves no quarter. Interesting and challenging discussion are preferable to ffighting but inevitably there comes a time to make decisions, to pick a side. I choose the side that best aligns with individual freedom and CADA and the lawsuits it inspires ain’t it.

    1. How tragic that have not had the courage and imagination to take up one of the greatest legal weapons of your own Democratic Party. If you had declared yourself a black female lawyer, you might now be Biden’s nominee for the next member of SCOTUS.

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