The Supreme Court has been warned next week of the potentially dire consequences of a lawsuit involving a Christian graphic artist challenging the design of a wedding website for same-sex couples.
The rules for designers and judges would expose blacks, immigrants, Jews, Muslims and others to discrimination, not just same-sex couples, liberal groups say.
Conservative groups argue that the verdict and judges against her will force artists, from painters and photographers to writers and musicians, to do work that goes against their faith.
Both sides described in court what lawyers sometimes call a “horror parade” that can occur if the verdict doesn’t go as planned.
For the second time in five years, the Supreme Court has faced a business owner who claims his religion prevents him from creating works for gay weddings. This time around, most experts expect the courts, now dominated 6 to 3 by conservatives, to be particularly sympathetic to religious plaintiffs.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union, in a document filed with the court, called Smith’s claim “a discretionary right to discriminate whenever a company’s products or services can be characterized as ‘expressive.'” was one of the people who called “From Luggage to Linen to Landscaping”. Those companies could announce, “We don’t serve black, gay, or Muslim people,” they said.
Smith’s attorneys for Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom say that’s not true. “I think it would be disingenuous and wrong to say that Rory’s victory in this case takes us back to the days when people were denied access to essential goods and services,” said ADF attorney Kelly Fidlek. “Rory’s victory here, like some of the hypotheses they are raising, would never excuse such conduct.”
In the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito argues that rights must be “rooted deeply in the history and tradition of a nation” in order to be protected. “If that’s their approach, the right to contraception may be seen as ‘not deeply rooted in our nation’s history and traditions,'” says University of Miami law professor Caroline Mara Corbyn. .
Smith’s case follows that of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who opposed making wedding cakes for gay couples. The couple filed a lawsuit, but the case ended with limited decisions. Phillips’ attorney, Kristen Waggoner, returned to High Court on Monday to defend Smith.
Smith wants to start offering a wedding website, but she says her Christian faith prevents her from creating a website celebrating same-sex marriage. That could get her into trouble with state law.Colorado, like most other states, has to offer all customers if Smith opens her wedding website to the public. There is a public accommodation law that must be Businesses that violate the law can be fined, among other things.
Smith said Colorado law violates the First Amendment by forcing her to express a message she disagrees with.
Among Smith’s other opponents are the Biden administration and 20 predominantly Democratic-leaning states, including California, New York, and Pennsylvania. The state told the court in one of 75 legal briefs submitted by an outside group that accepting Smith’s allegations would allow widespread discrimination.
“Bakeries whose owners are against mixed-race relationships may refuse to bake wedding cakes for interracial couples,” the state said. “A real estate company whose owners are against racial integration may refuse to represent a black couple looking to buy a home in a predominantly white neighborhood. Portrait studios that oppose adoption may refuse to take pictures of white parents and black adopted children.
These race-based examples are in a courtroom with two black judges, Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown Jackson, who are married to white spouses, and another judge, Amy Coney Barrett, who has two black adopted children. It may attract particular attention. But the state also gave an example of the country of origin of an individual. “Tattoo studios can get American flag tattoos for customers born in the United States while refusing to sell the same tattoos to immigrants,” they said.
Brian Gorod, of the Center for Constitutional Accountability, representing a group of law professors, hypothesized another example of what would happen if Smith won the High Court case.
“A web designer can refuse to create a web page celebrating the retirement of a female CEO. It violates Colorado’s sex discrimination law. All women are obligated to stay home and raise children.” Likewise, cabinetmakers who consider their furniture to be artistically expressive believe that interracial couples should not share a home together. Or we could refuse an architect to design a home for an interracial couple,” she said in court. said in
A Trevor Project study found that two-thirds of LGBTQ youth say current and proposed state policies are having a negative impact on their mental health. LGBTQ students face many challenges as many students begin a new school year this month. Her Keygan Miller, public training manager for The Trevor Project, joins his LX News to discuss these challenges and how schools and teachers can help.
But Smith’s supporters, who include 20 mostly Republican-leaning states, say there would be negative consequences to ruling against her as well. Attorneys for the CatholicVote.org Education Fund said in court that if the lower court’s ruling were valid and Smith lost, “Jewish choreographers would have to stage dramatic Easter performances, and Catholic singers would have to A performance must be performed at the wedding of two divorcees, a Muslim who runs an advertising agency will no longer be able to refuse to create a campaign for a liquor company.”
The Jewish Coalition for Religious Freedom put it another way, saying Jewish bakers fulfilled the demands of neo-Nazis who wanted a cake saying “Nine November, Happy November 9”. I told the court that I may have to. —a reference to his 1938 night, Kristallnacht, when the Nazis burned down synagogues and destroyed Jewish trade in Germany and Austria.
Alan B. Morrison, a constitutional expert at Georgetown University, stressed that Smith no longer operates a wedding website, calling the case particularly speculative and problematic. Morrison still laughed at some of the hypothetical scenarios both sides came up with, suggesting they were “a little exaggerated.”
The example, he said, “is what a law professor thinks.”