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US Supreme Court says website designer’s free speech rights violated by Colorado law

Friday, Jun 30, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here for the opinion. Washington Post

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled in favor of an evangelical Christian graphic artist from Colorado who does not want to create wedding websites for same-sex couples, despite the state’s protective anti-discrimination law.

The vote split along ideological lines 6 to 3, with the liberals in dissent.

It was the court’s latest examination of the clash between laws requiring equal treatment for the LGBTQ community and those who say their religious beliefs lead them to regard same-sex marriages as “false.”

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said the First Amendment protects designer Lorie Smith from creating speech she does not believe.

“The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands,” Gorsuch wrote, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. “Colorado seeks to deny that promise.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the dissent, joined by fellow liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. “Today the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class,” she wrote. “Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people.”

* From the opinion

Before the district court, Ms. Smith and the State stipulated to a number of facts: Ms. Smith is “willing to work with all people regardless of classifications such as race, creed, sexual orientation, and gender” and “will gladly create custom graphics and websites” for clients of any sexual orientation; she will not produce content that “contradicts biblical truth” regardless of who orders it; Ms. Smith’s belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman is a sincerely held conviction; Ms. Smith provides design services that are “expressive” and her “original, customized” creations “contribut[e] to the overall message” her business conveys “through the websites” it creates; the wedding websites she plans to create “will be expressive in nature,” will be “customized and tailored” through close collaboration with individual couples, and will “express Ms. Smith’s and 303 Creative’s message celebrating and promoting” her view of marriage; viewers of Ms. Smith’s websites “will know that the websites are her original artwork;” and “[t]here are numerous companies in the State of Colorado and across the nation that offer custom website design services.”

Ultimately, the district court held that Ms. Smith was not entitled to the injunction she sought, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed.

Held: The First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees.

* As an aside, The New Republic reported earlier this week that a person named Stewart who had supposedly contacted Smith about creating a website denies ever doing so. Also from the story

Up to this point, Smith had never designed any wedding website. (In fact, her website six months prior to the lawsuit being filed in 2016 does not include any of the Christian messaging that it did shortly afterward and today, archived versions of the site show.) The initial lawsuit did not mention the “Stewart” inquiry, which was submitted to Smith’s website on September 21, according to the date-stamp shown in later court filings, indicating that she received it the day after the suit was originally filed.

* Anyway, on to local react. Equality Illinois…

When a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all—a core American principle at the heart of how we treat one another. Yet, during a Pride Month when LGBTQ+ people are under attack across the country by hateful policies and violence, 6 anti-equality justices on the United States Supreme Court today issued a radical and reckless ruling that strikes at that American principle.

This ruling ignores long-standing precedent and public norms to say that some businesses can turn some people away because of who they are. This is not what Illinoisans want. Illinoisans want a state where all people—including LGBTQ+ people—are equally welcomed in public spaces across the state. We know this because Illinoisans have spoken through their elected leaders to champion the cause of equality and fairness.

In response to this ruling, Equality Illinois will collaborate with our legal partners, pro-equality public officials, and LGBTQ+ community stewards to determine the best course of action to defend the non-discrimination protections in the Illinois Human Rights Act. We will work to ensure the ruling is not used to allow further discrimination because of a customer’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, national origin, sex, or other protected class.

June is Pride Month, and Pride was founded in an uprising fueled by resistance, resilience, and fighting back. We will resist. We will fight back. Our dignity will not be diminished.

As always with national issues, please take a deep breath or two before commenting. Thanks.

I’ll post other reactions if and when I receive them.

…Adding… Gov. Pritzker…

Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision allows LGBTQ+ discrimination to pervade under the guise of free speech. This decision weaponizes religious freedom as a boon for bigotry, and in doing so, puts the burden on the millions of Americans who have fought for their right to love and live as they are.

Throughout its 234-year legacy, the court has repeatedly had the opportunity to lead on the right side of history. Sometimes it has embraced that mantle of courage; but in its darkest hours, it has pushed civil rights to the wayside in the name of a retrograde agenda. Not yet ten years out from Obergefell, this court has turned its back on its mandate to protect the civil rights of all Americans.

LGBTQ Americans deserve the same protections and rights as everyone else. Make no mistake: in Illinois, I promise that we will continue to fight to ensure you are respected and safe no matter who you love.”

* Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson…

“Today’s Supreme Court decision allowing businesses to refuse services based on personal beliefs not only violates principles of equality but opens the door to an extremely dangerous precedent. Our country should not, and cannot, further discriminate against and limit the freedom of our LGBTQ+ communities at a time when their rights are already severely under attack.”

“Like yesterday’s ruling to end affirmative action, this will only further discriminate and divide us, so I call upon all institutional leaders and stakeholders to continue protecting these rights and practices in the city of Chicago. And on this last day of Pride month, I stand committed, now more than ever, to fostering a loving, inclusive, and welcoming city.”

* House Speaker Chris Welch…

“This Supreme Court has shown yet again that they will respect no precedent and show no restraint in their effort to disenfranchise those they deem unworthy. Today, six conservative justices created a new right to discriminate against the LGTBQIA+ community, and blocked even modest college debt relief for struggling families. Make no mistake, these rulings are the result of a concerted right-wing attempt to impose their version of America – an America that fits their ideological and political standards because they’ve been repeatedly rejected at the ballot box.

“In Illinois, we will continue to move in a better direction through legislation. We will continue to prioritize affordable college for all, equitable treatment for all, and equal opportunity for all. Because in Illinois we believe in and will always fight for the true American vision for all.”

* Sen. Durbin…

Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis:

“It’s shameful that the Supreme Court just issued a ruling that mistakes freedom of expression as a reason to deny service to LGBTQ+ people — on the final day of Pride Month. It’s nothing short of a license to discriminate, signed by the highest court in the land.

“Yet again, the conservative Supreme Court majority is out of touch with the American people’s expectations of its highest court. The majority of Americans embrace anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people — protections that exist to ensure that no one is turned away because of who they are or who they love. Still, LGBTQ+ Americans are being subjected to a tidal wave of hateful rhetoric and legislation across the country by Republican lawmakers, particularly targeting transgender youth.

“As Justice Sotomayor noted in her dissent, ‘the Court, for the first time in its history, grant[ed] a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.’ As a result, this case invites a return to a time when businesses regularly turned people away because of not just their LGBTQ+ status, but also their religion, race, national origin, sex, and more.

“Mark my words: I will do everything I can to ensure that the freedom to exist unapologetically prevails. June 30th might conclude Pride Month, but today’s ruling shows our work is far from over.”

* DPI…

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ+ customers, Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Lisa Hernandez released the following statement:

“Amid a disturbing rise of attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, the U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that businesses can refuse to serve customers based on how they live or who they love. This court continues to pave a path of destruction that guts decades of precedent and progress towards equality, illuminating exactly how much is at stake in all of our elections. This is an abominable endorsement of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community; one which further cements the retrograde legacy of a SCOTUS stacked with Trump sycophants and ideological extremists. On the last day of Pride month, we must recommit to our fight against hate, discrimination, and prejudice, even if the nation’s highest court refuses to do so,” said DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez.

* Thomas More Society…

The June 30, 2023, United States Supreme Court decision affirming the right of web designer Lorie Smith to refuse to create websites for same-sex weddings has reinforced and solidified the October 2022 victory in the Tastries Bakery lawsuit, won by Thomas More Society attorneys.

Smith, owner and designer of 303 Creative LLC, challenged Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, whose accommodation and communication clauses prohibited her from designing custom wedding websites if she refuses to create same-sex wedding websites and prohibited her from publicizing that she would not create them. To avoid prosecution, Smith challenged the Act preemptively but was forbidden by both a Colorado district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from exercising her vocation according to her Christian beliefs.

In a similar case, cake designer and Thomas More Society client Cathy Miller, proprietor of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, was hauled into court—not once, but twice—by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (now the California Civil Rights Department) for declining to design a custom wedding cake celebrating the same-sex marriage of two women. Miller’s freedom to exercise her sincere religious beliefs through her culinary craft was affirmed by a California Superior Court, despite aggressive attacks and litigation backed by the full weight of California’s bureaucratic apparatus.

“There’s a certain irony here,” observed Charles LiMandri, Thomas More Society Special Counsel and partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP, “that laws intended to protect individuals from religious discrimination were used to discriminate against both Cathy Miller and Lorie Smith for their sincerely held religious beliefs. We are pleased that the High Court has upheld the First Amendment rights of Ms. Smith, allowing artisans like her and Cathy Miller to ply their trade according to their deeply held religious beliefs.”

The deciding factor in both cases is the legal concept of “strict scrutiny.” Under strict scrutiny, to compel speech, whether religious or not, the government must show that doing so is the only way—that is, no other means is possible—to achieve a governmental interest of the highest order.

In Tastries, the Hon. J. Eric Bradshaw of the Superior Court of California in Kern County, decided for Miller, concluding that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s enforcement action sought to compel Miller and Tastries to express support for same-sex marriage, or be silent. “No compelling state interest justifies such a result under strict scrutiny,” wrote Judge Bradshaw.

Judge Bradshaw noted the inconsistency in California’s alleged respect for Miller’s sincere religious beliefs while trying to force her to either violate her beliefs or stop selling wedding cakes. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing proposed that Tastries could either sell all its goods and services to all customers, cease to offer wedding cakes for sale to anyone, or have Miller and those of her employees that shared her religious objections to same-sex marriage “step aside” and allow her “willing” employees to manage the process.

Smith faced an almost identical situation in Colorado—to make wedding websites for any and all types of unions or make none. As sole operator and only staff person at 303 Creative, employees were not part of the equation.

Paul Jonna, Thomas More Society Special Counsel and partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP, added: “We are optimistic that the ruling in 303 Creative will protect all creative professionals involved in the wedding industry, including Cathy Miller. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes abundantly clear that there is room in our great county for people of all views on marriage.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch authored the majority opinion in the High Court’s 6-3 decision. Justice Gorsuch rejected Colorado’s goal of “excis[ing] certain ideas or viewpoints from the public dialogue” as illegitimate and rejected Colorado’s argument that there was no other means of ensuring that same-sex couples have access to the full marketplace. “In some sense, of course, [Lorie Smith’s] voice is unique; so is everyone’s. But that hardly means a State may coopt an individual’s voice for its own purposes… Were the rule otherwise, the better the artist, the finer the writer, the more unique his talent, the more easily his voice could be conscripted to disseminate the government’s preferred messages. That would not respect the First Amendment; more nearly, it would spell its demise.”


Today, Director Jim Bennett released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow businesses to refuse to serve customers based on their protected characteristics, such as sexual orientation.

“When a business is open to the public, it should be open to all.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that betrays our nation’s values, undermines decades of settled case law that protects our marketplace from discrimination, and permits certain businesses to discriminate against historically marginalized groups simply because of who they are.

Our antidiscrimination laws, including the Illinois Human Rights Act, exist to protect the rights of vulnerable communities. Before these protections were codified into law, businesses like banks, hotels, restaurants, and bars, posted signs and publicly refused to serve people who were not white, straight, male, able-bodied, or neurotypical. The court had an opportunity to strengthen anti-discrimination laws, but instead, it chose to harm LGBTQ people by relegating them to second-class status. They deserve far better from our nation’s highest court.

The Illinois Department of Human Rights calls on each of us to ensure freedom and inclusion for everyone in the marketplace. We must not allow this regressive ruling to be used to instill fear. The Illinois Human Rights Act provides comprehensive protections against discrimination in public accommodations, as well as employment, housing, financial credit, and sexual harassment in education. If you believe you have experienced discrimination, you can file a discrimination charge by calling 312-814-4320 or 866-740-3953 (TTY) or emailing

* Leader Gordon-Booth…

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, issued the following statement Friday after the release of additional Supreme Court rulings:

“In a matter of 24 hours, the Supreme Court has rolled the hands of time back on minorities, marginalized communities, the LGBTQ+ community and everyday working people looking for student loan relief. If we take a look back to last summer’s eradication of women’s rights and bodily autonomy, it’s very clear that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court is moving our country backwards one decision at a time.

“While not everyone may feel personally impacted by these specific cases, these decisions erode rights, limit opportunity and reject the underlying values of our country. We are collectively hurt by such decisions, which is why we cannot remain silent in the days ahead.

“In Illinois we understand what’s at stake. It’s why we have taken strong steps to support basic rights, and why we must continue to be proactive.

“I will continue to use the full weight of my position to uplift and advance the rights of everyone, no matter what a regressive court tries to do.”

* Rep. Kelly Cassidy…

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions that fly in the face of the idea of a free and equal society. Yesterday, in two decisions (SFFA v. UNC and SFFA v. Harvard), the court held that schools may not consider race as a factor in admissions, leaving in place factors like legacy admissions or donor status in a decision that could set back efforts at equity and inclusion not just in college admissions, but throughout our society. Today’s decision in 303 Creative represents yet another rollback of long-acknowledged rights by permitting a business to effectively post a sign excluding anyone from being served if the product or service provided involves expression.

“Once again, the court is ignoring years of precedent and settled law to roll back rights,” said Representative Kelly Cassidy, “If a business can make an argument that their product is expression, they can argue their right to limit access to any product or service. This reads like an engraved invitation to expand the definition of expression. I love to cook and find it an expression of my creativity. Does that mean if I was a restaurateur I could refuse to serve my food to someone based on my bias against who they are?”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a deep disappointment for those of us who have felt the love and affirmation of this Pride Month,” Cassidy added. “The Court’s majority adds to the attacks we have seen across the country on members of the LGBTQ+ community – this time suggesting that discrimination against our community can be justified.”

Cassidy noted that the impact on Illinois’ law protecting against discrimination in public accommodations is still being analyzed. The Dobbs Working Group will be reviewing the impact carefully in the event there is a need for state action to protect the rights of any groups subject to discrimination in our state. The Working Group is committed to ensuring that the guarantees contained in the Illinois Human Rights Act are fully recognized.


  1. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:10 am:

    I would bet serious money that the website designer sometimes works on Sundays or sometimes eats shellfish, which is a clear violation of their “religious beliefs” which they claim to cherish.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:13 am:

    Rich, white, angry folks with legacy admissions and no student debt, that want to discriminate against gay marriage have had a nice couple days…

  3. - Roadrager - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:16 am:

    Preempting any comments in the vein of “A private business can reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” and “the free market can decide what discriminatory business practices ate acceptable” with reminders of how business was conducted in the American South until about 55 years ago, and how home lenders and realtors did their business everywhere in this country, and it wasn’t the invisible hand of the free market guiding them toward a course correction.

  4. - Jerry - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:16 am:

    I dont understand why Ms Smith insists on forcing her “lifestyle choice” on others. And that is exactly what her “religion” is. She wasnt born this way. Its all learned behavior.

    Glad I live in a Great Christian state like Illinois. Jesus would have been proud to live here. He said to treat others the way you’d want to be treated.

  5. - JoanP - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:18 am:

    Wait until someone claims their religious beliefs oppose interracial marriages, and won’t create a website for such a wedding.

  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:20 am:

    Terrible reasoning trying to hide behind the concept of compelled speech.

    It’s not compelled speech, as the author clearly admits it is a collaboration consisting of the input of the people involved, not the authors exclusive speech.

    –“customized and tailored” through close collaboration with individual couples–

    This court is setting up a confrontation with itself through these decisions.

  7. - Steve - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:21 am:

    I never thought this was a 1st Amendment case. But, here we are. I thought if you were business with more than 5 employees the 1964 Civil Rights Act meant you were a business that dealt with the public and had to serve everyone. I’m wondering if this is the beginning of resurrecting the right to free association in the business world (the right to discriminate)?

  8. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:21 am:

    Wait until a paramedic refuses to treat a patient in a medical crisis.

  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    ===Wait until a paramedic refuses===

    They can in Florida

  10. - John Lopez - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    It’s the end of June, and last year and this year, been memorable thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court:

    Roe v Wade = GONE
    Affirmative Action = GONE
    Student Loan Forgiveness = GONE
    Constitutional Carry = SECURED
    Business Religious Freedom = SECURED

    Yes, it’s been a great 2 years for freedom and right to life of the unborn.

    BTW, did anyone ever learn who leaked the Dobbs decision last year from SCOTUS?

  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:26 am:

    I just wonder when a private utility will turn off the water and say “we don’t serve ‘you people’”

    Can a pastor bodily remove someone who is peacefully worshipping in their church because they are gay? How far are we going to go with this?

  12. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:27 am:

    The popular idea held by many, that both political parties are basically the same, couldn’t be more wrong. The people who could have helped prevent radical SCOTUS stripping away long held rights of the marginalized didn’t vote for HRC. This is on them.

  13. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:31 am:

    Since this case is obviously a kabuki-type case, made up out of nowhere to meet a certain requirement - I’m left to wonder what the *actual* reason is this needed to be passed.

    Is it to allow housing discrimination for large property management companies?

  14. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    so now any business can tell someone that unless they are heterosexual that the business can discriminate? cause that’s what this ruling reads like. can they post signs? No LGBTQ served?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:33 am:

    While Mitch McConnell has won, and not only won with Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, this is the legacy of Notorious RBG, and “elections matter”, and going forward each and every decision that has a Republican bend to social stifling and racial/economic divides, it’s critical to state politics and the races for both chambers in DC, it’s tough to see things other than…

    Dems can run on equality, abortion and the second amendment restrictions

    Republicans can run on gerrymandered slights, the electoral college, and stifling voting rights.

    I say that very pointedly to this.

    Republicans are running far right in primaries but magically refuse to own the same words days later as nominees… and campaigns designed to see suppressed turnout is good, and why is that good. Republicans don’t have popular policies that drive voters, and to “dot the I”… SCOTUS will back the regression so many hoped to stop.

    Another SCOTUS session where the politics of decisions are cheered today, they hoped later voters forget.

    Dems need to drive home each of these decisions, even in Illinois, and they can’t let it slide or be lazy that voters will remember… because as I wrote above, Republicans want suppressed turnout and voters with short memories.

    It will be interesting here in Illinois how these rulings in the past days will be embraced by primary Republicans in competitive races the ILGOP want to flip.

  16. - H-W - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:35 am:

    With this 6-3 conservative majority on the US Supreme Court, we have witnessed the entrenchment of the second, Robber Baron Era. It began with Roberts’ appointment as chief justice, followed immediately by Citizens United.

    Over the past decade, business interests have been systemically upheld and strengthened, while the rights of workers and minority groups have been reduced.

    The last Robber Baron Era ended with a great economic catastrophe. Heaven help us going forward.

  17. - Jerry - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    Great point, Invisible.

    And even worse why did the court feel compelled to sign off on this?

  18. - Steve - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:37 am:

    -this is the legacy of Notorious RBG-

    You are right. The Obama Administration attempted to communicate this problem to RBG in their 1st term. Here we are.

  19. - Chicagonk - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:38 am:

    It seems like a fairly narrow ruling around compelled speech.

  20. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    There’s never been a better time for Biden to make expanding the supreme court the centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

  21. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:45 am:

    ===They can in Florida

    Yep. When does the first person die because a “Christian” didn’t want to treat them. It harkens back to the early days of AIDS when people were left to die.

  22. - Norseman - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:46 am:

    Rich points out that the refusal to provide care is already happening. Religious freedom has been perverted from the right to worship to the right to discriminate against anyone you choose to believe violates what you believe. The hypocritical thing is that these same people would scream to the rafters if they were the recipients of discrimation from another religion.

  23. - H-W - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:47 am:

    @ Just Me 2

    While I am on your side in suggesting using biblical arguments to discriminate is antithetical to the Abrahamic religions, your example is flawed. Many make the same mistake, pulling out the old laws of Moses.

    The Christian text argues that those laws no longer apply. It says things like, what comes out of your mouth is much more likely to offend God than what goes in it.

    If we wish to criticize our fellow citizens, we need to do so consistently. It is not that they are bad members of a belief system. It is that the beliefs are morally wrong.

    LGBTQ citizens have been literally told that they are not equally entitled to the protections of the Civil Rights era, regarding public accommodations. Women have been told that they must bare children for the state (since the court opinion is that state’s decide).

    There are so many immoral inequities being proffered by the federal courts right now, it will take another Civil Rights Era to change them.

    Change will require enough citizens being committed to voting against candidates proffering business interests over citizenship rights, and not being sucked into debates over conservative theologies. The latter are but a distraction from the real issues - human rights.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:48 am:

    ===It’s the end of June, and last year and this year, been memorable thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court:

    Roe v Wade = GONE
    Affirmative Action = GONE
    Student Loan Forgiveness = GONE
    Constitutional Carry = SECURED
    Business Religious Freedom = SECURED

    Yes, it’s been a great 2 years for freedom and right to life of the unborn.===

    You won’t see a single GOP candidate in a swing district in any jurisdiction run on this platform.


    It’s a losing electoral platform in competitive districts.

    Your far-right platform where your writings are found are not where moderate voters will find solace.

  25. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:48 am:

    =Since this case is obviously a kabuki-type case, made up out of nowhere to meet a certain requirement - I’m left to wonder what the *actual* reason is this needed to be passed.=

    My question exactly. Other cases did not get a decision because the court found the petitioner did not have standing. This case definitely did not have standing since no injury occurred.

    I remember when the gop used to hate activist judges.

    =so now any business can tell someone that unless they are heterosexual that the business can discriminate?=

    What the court may not realize is that they opened the door for businesses to refuse to serve christians or straight people. Give that a think on where it can go, kinda funny because they will have a hissy if it happens.

  26. - John Lopez - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:48 am:

    Only decision that really disturbs me is the student loan forgiveness decision. Not that it wasn’t the right decision, but the fact it to was 6-3.

    Like the West Virginia v Environmental Protection Agency ruling a year ago, the SCOTUS majority is putting the kibosh on executive fiat taking the place of congressional/legislative action just because the votes couldn’t be found to pass.

    When the American people grow tired of the nonsense/dysfunction in DC and vote accordingly in both chambers of Congress, then rulings like these will not be needed.

  27. - Steve - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    -Affirmative Action = GONE-

    I’ve seen conflicting polling on that issue lately. I don’t know if it’s the wording of the polling or something else.

  28. - We've never had one before - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:55 am:

    “I’ll bake that wedding cake for you, but I do not want to, and you will not like it.”

  29. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 10:57 am:

    Elections have consequences.

  30. - Sue - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:03 am:

    OW- on student loans- did I miss something - I thought it was 9 to 0. Biden didn’t have authority to spend 500 B on his own - he did it for the midterms somewhat aware he was exceeding his authority. Need to be pretty well ahead of his skis to lose Katangi Jackson

  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:04 am:

    ===When the American people grow tired of the nonsense/dysfunction in DC and vote accordingly in both chambers of Congress===

    Republicans should run exclusively on what you say are wins.

    That’ll show the dysfunction.

  32. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:04 am:

    ===Only decision that really disturbs me is the student loan forgiveness decision.===

    Lucky you. I’m tired of having to defend my marriage and rights at every turn.

  33. - Frida's boss - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    There is a great book out there by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse called The Scheme. It focuses on the desire of the right to fill the courts with members of the Federalist Society and how President Trump fulfilled that goal for the group.

    @FormerDownstater- what makes you think those justices will be liberal? Could end up being a larger conservative majority and they could be even younger than who is in there now?

  34. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:09 am:

    ==opened the door for businesses to refuse to serve christians […]==

    Not just businesses. Local governments too.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:09 am:

    - Sue -

    I’d sit this out, with your racial underpinnings after yesterday. You might very well embody the…

    ===Rich, white, angry folks with legacy admissions and no student debt, that want to discriminate against gay marriage have had a nice couple days…===

    Polling to student loan debt and younger voters is the ball game.

    Never confuse the law to the politics applied to rulings, especially when you can hurt one race to help your anger

  36. - James - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:11 am:

    I’ll remind the liberals on the blog that perhaps if you had spent a few extra hours phone banking for Hilary in 2016 you wouldn’t be having such a “terrible no good day”.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:14 am:

    ===but the fact it to was 6-3===

    Democrats should continually remind voters of this, and how out of step these decisions are with voters… as abortion continues to drive Dem wins.

  38. - JoanP - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    @ Sue -

    No, it was 6-3:

  39. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:22 am:

    I don’t know why people seem to think Republicans are anti-LGBTQ. Just the other day, LP mentioned a gay mid-level bureaucrat who was appointed by Trump. /S

  40. - We've never had before - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:26 am:

    I couldn’t imagine hanging my wedding on a hook while I wait for a supreme court case on a cake or a website when I could surely find a vendor who wants my business.

    Yes, it’s the principle of the thing…

  41. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:26 am:

    ===There is a great book out there===

    Read Mitch McConnell’s book. It’s a confession to it

  42. - Henry Francis - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    The flip side of all of this promotion and official entrenchment of fundamental Christianity is that the other religions can exploit the same rules.

    We’ve seen with the 10 commandments in Texas classrooms, the Satanists came forward and wanted the same treatment.

    What happens if a fundamentalist Muslim cafe owner refuses to serve Justice Barrett because she isn’t wearing her burka?

    And to release this decision on the last day of Pride month.

  43. - Waldi - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:35 am:

    I’m a Catholic. Divorce isn’t permitted according to my religion. I guess, based on this latest decision, as a business owner I can refuse services to divorcees.

  44. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    We’ve never had before- you’re missing every single point of the case and reality. Try again.

  45. - Earnest - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    What the court may not realize is that they opened the door for businesses to refuse to serve christians or straight people. Give that a think on where it can go, kinda funny because they will have a hissy if it happens.

    That presumes this has something to do with consistency and precedent and not with making sure the law gives power to one group of people and penalizes another.

  46. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    Turns out I could have skipped con law in law school because it turns out that there are no rules, everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.

    Precedent, standing, the other two allegedly co-equal branches of the government … it’s all imaginary, law is whatever the Federalist Society says it is.

  47. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    we are reaching theocracy stage in this country. we are being courted into bigotry by a right wing Roman Catholic judiciary. they are making it difficult for those of us who do not share their religious beliefs to live under those religious beliefs of our own. shame on them.

  48. - Shibboleth - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:45 pm:

    The Supreme Court has, on the anniversary of my relationship with my partner, less than 6 months after our engagement, decided we may need to face discrimination while planning our wedding.

    It’s really hard to be optimistic sometimes.

  49. - Jerry - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    So if understand correctly I can pre-emptively sue because my God says you might discriminate against me.

    And the Supreme Court says this is Constitutional.

  50. - The Truth - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:47 pm:

    I’ll remind the liberals on the blog that perhaps if you had spent a few extra hours phone banking for Hilary in 2016 you wouldn’t be having such a “terrible no good day”.

    I was dialing pages of 920 area code phone numbers and knocking doors across Walworth County on November 8, 2016, so I’ll complain all I want, James.

  51. - Katlen - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    Quit with the histrionics

    There will be plenty of businesses to take your money
    No one will miss out

    Weddings will continue to be planned

  52. - Jerry - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    That has nothing to do with the decision from the United States Supreme Court.

    The Court said that Ms Smiths “imaginary friend” takes precedence.

    Do keep up.

  53. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===Quit with the histrionics===

    If you cheer discriminatory actions, it says so much about you

    Phony Christians cheering is what was taught not to do, as one follows the Old Testament

  54. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:24 pm:

    I know dishonesty is called out here constantly

    Usually it is just mischaracterized as intolerance of a different opinion.

    Richard Grenell was a cabinet member as well as US Ambassador to Germany.

    There is no higher level of bureaucrat on the Federal Government

  55. - Jocko - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:33 pm:

    ==Quit with the histrionics==

    You mean Lorie Smith freaking out about the POSSIBILITY of having to construct a website for a marrying gay couple that she MADE ONE UP?

  56. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    Frida’s boss - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 11:08 am: I didn’t make that post. Apparently someone decided to impersonate me today.

  57. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==I know dishonesty is called out here constantly==

    Because you’re dishonest all the time, and your stupid comment here back that up. Somehow because there was a gay ambassador everything is ok? “Hey, I know a gay guy so everything is ok. Nothing to see here.” So yes, LP, you are disingenous. Always.

  58. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==There is no higher level of bureaucrat on the Federal Government==

    I’m pretty sure there are *lots* of higher levels of bureaucrat than the Ambassador of Germany. Do you even try anymore?

  59. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 1:48 pm:

    ===Usually it is just mischaracterized as intolerance of a different opinion.===

    You represent the worst part of alternative facts you try to peddle.

    You are a victim… of the caricature you created… to bring dishonest “whataboutism” pretending to be thoughtful in your eyes.

    It’s tiring, your victimhood to what you think is owed to you.

  60. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:03 pm:

    Don’t even try anymore? Alternative facts?

    There is no higher level bureaucrat in the Federal Government than the President’s cabinet which has 25 members including the VP

    You could always try ignoring my comments if they offend you so much instead of responding to virtually every one with your hyperbole

    Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy the freedoms this great county affords everyone to have different opinions

  61. - phocion - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    Show of hands:
    How many of you have read the entire opinion, including the dissent? (I have)

    The casual embrace of government coerced speech found in most of the comments posted here is troubling. Some thoughts from the opinion warrant highlighting for those who may not understand what this case is actually about:

    “Finally, the dissent comes out and says what it really means: Once Ms. Smith offers some speech, Colorado “would require [her] to create and sell speech, notwithstanding [her] sincere objection to doing so”—and the dissent would force her to comply with that demand…Even as it does so, however, the dissent refuses to acknowledge where its reasoning leads. In a world like that, as Chief Judge Tymkovich highlighted, governments
    could force “an unwilling Muslim movie director to make a film with a Zionist message,” they could compel “an atheist muralist to accept a commission celebrating Evangelical zeal,” and they could require a gay website designer to create websites for a group advocating against same-sex marriage, so long as these speakers would accept commissions
    from the public with different messages…Perhaps the dissent finds these possibilities untroubling because it trusts state governments to coerce only “enlightened” speech. But if that is the calculation, it is a dangerous one indeed.

    Justice Gorsuch eloquently concludes the opinion: with the following:

    “But tolerance, not coercion, is our Nation’s
    answer. The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands. Because Colorado seeks to deny that promise, the judgment is

  62. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    Your dishonesty of opinion peddles as fact in you mind.

    Why this matters to this post, to try and bring it back to that, is you want these ridiculous out of the box thoughts to justify a position.

    You are arguing about an ambassador?



    It’s tiring because with this ruling the discussion is to tolerance, discrimination and the law… you just can’t let it be there, you must think you’ll lose the argument

    Freedom is rich coming from this intolerant.

    If you feel offended by that, maybe don’t think on a reply, think why you’d be offended

  63. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:12 pm:

    –enjoy the freedoms this great county affords everyone to have–

    Did you not notice the thread you are in, or…

  64. - Yiddishcowboy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:15 pm:

    It should be this simple (but, sadly, it’s not): If one opens a business that serves the public, one’s business becomes a place of public accommodation; thus, the business owner should be required to serve *all* people/customers, not just people/customers that hold beliefs with which the business owner agrees. Very unfortunate…SCOTUS just allowed business owners to blatantly discriminate against others. Where will it stop? I think we all know what’s next.

  65. - Former Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:18 pm:

    Also, Shibboleth, Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Please know that most people here, and hopefully in your life, are happy for you. My husband and I will celebrate 15 years on the 4th. We welcome you to the club!

  66. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:23 pm:

    From the update;

    “There’s a certain irony here, that laws intended to protect individuals from religious discrimination were used to discriminate against both Cathy Miller and Lorie Smith for their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

    You will never, and I mean never, be able to rationally discuss this with someone who has such an ingrained persecution complex. They will always be the victim, even when they are beating you.

    Welcome to Dominion Theology, now a very functional and very real part of the highest court in the country.

  67. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:32 pm:

    Per anecdotal evidence, as red states race back to the Confederacy, some are leaving them and moving to Illinois, to Peoria, for example.

    If Illinois doesn’t already have an aggressive marketing campaign to lure people away, it should.

  68. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    - phocion -

    ===Justice Gorsuch eloquently concludes the opinion: with the following:

    “But tolerance, not coercion===

    Wasn’t this a phony made up plaintiff?

    So… the eloquence is about a made up situation?

  69. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:45 pm:

    The court ruled 7-2 in 2018 it could not compel the baker to make a cake for a gay wedding because of religious beliefs

    Why is a web design different than a baker?

  70. - Teacher Lady - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    One of the best things I’ve read concerning tolerance of the beliefs of others:

  71. - Former Downstater - Other - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    I have used this name for a while. Didn’t see someone else use it until today. Apologies if you have been using for a while as well.

    Frida’s Boss, to answer your question, expanding the Supreme Court to fix the current problems would require Democrats control the House, Senate, and White House.

    Considering the Democrats face a tough Senate map in 2024, a campaign focused on expanding the Supreme Court could do wonders for protecting their majority.

  72. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===The court ruled 7-2 in 2018===

    Your premise is based on that being a sound ruling too.

    This Court is known for overturning precedent, not respecting it.

  73. - Jocko - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    ==Why is a web design different than a baker?==

    Because actual human beings asked Jack Phillips to make a cake. No one asked Lorie Smith to make a website. This outcome is based on a lie.

  74. - Jocko - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    I also should add that Lorie Smith has NEVER made a wedding website for anyone.

  75. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:45 pm:

    Legal scholars would characterize 7-2 Supreme Court rulings as a clear consensus, especially because at the time the court was 5-4 and the decision was supported by Justices Kagan and Breyer

  76. - Walker - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:16 pm:

    “”obviously a Kabuki type case””

    Thank you. I’ve been trying to find the words to describe this case, with an artificially created new business and an obviously fake
    customer. I guess reality doesn’t matter when judges are on a mission

  77. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:20 pm:

    “embrace of government coerced speech”

    The counter to this is one of the very first comments in this thread. Did you not read it?

    This isn’t a coerced or compelled speech issue, as due to the plaintiffs own admission the end product is a result of a consultation and cooperation with the client input. If you want to rely on this, then the designer can now be sued for deceptive practices for her claim of creating a product with the input from the client. That’s not an accurate description of her services, if she is claiming her speech is being compelled.

    She is perfectly free to create a website proposal showing the client is going to the warm place. Nobody, including the government, stopped her from presenting that design to the imaginary client. Her speech is in no way compelled. She probably also wouldn’t get the client to pay for that type of thing, but her right to be paid for every design she creates isn’t the issue. She chose not to create that design. She wasn’t forced not to create that design, leaving her no other option.

    Do you understand how this is not a compelled speech issue now?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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