Not Tired of Winning Yet CLXVI

A crowded day for victories this day.

The Supreme Court announced the decision of 303 CREATIVE LLC  v. ELENIS holding the First Amendment prohibits Colorado from forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees.

The Court explains.

Lorie Smith wants to expand her graphic design business, 303 Creative LLC, to include services for couples seeking wedding websites.

But Mrs. Smith worries that Colorado will use the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act to compel her—in violation of the First Amendment—to create websites celebrating marriages she does not endorse.

To clarify her rights, Mrs. Smith filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the State from forcing her to create websites celebrating marriages that defy her belief that marriage should be reserved to unions between one man and one woman.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the dissent was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. All of the court’s Republican appointees voting for free speech and civilization, and all three of the Democratic appointees voted for fascism.

I use the word advisedly.

The Court quotes some prior cases:

The framers designed the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to protect the “freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think.” Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U. S. 640.

The freedom to speak is among our inalienable rights. The freedom of thought and speech is “indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth.” Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357.

For these reasons, “if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation”, it is the principle that the government may not interfere with “an uninhibited marketplace of ideas,” quoting ” West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, and  McCullen v. Coakley, 573 U. S. 464. 

Astoundingly enough, the Tenth Circuit held that Colorado seeks to compel this speech in order to “excise certain ideas or viewpoints from the public dialogue.” Indeed, the Tenth Circuit recognized that the coercive “elimination” of dissenting ideas about marriage constitutes Colorado’s “very purpose” in seeking to apply its law to Mrs. Smith.

The law in question provides that Mrs. Smith must either speak as the State demands “or face sanctions for expressing her own beliefs, sanctions that may include compulsory participation in  ‘remedial… training,’ filing periodic compliance reports, and paying monetary fines.”

I trust no one doubts the aptness of the use of the word fascist above. Even Caligula did not call punishing his slaves for talking displeasing to him “education.” It takes a Stalin to do that, or a Mao.

This is the center of the reasoning:

The State stresses that Mrs. Smith offers her speech for pay and does so through 303 Creative LLC, a company in which she is “the sole member-owner.” But many of the world’s great works of literature and art were created with an expectation of compensation. And speakers do not shed their First Amendment protections by employing the corporate form to disseminate their speech.

Colorado urges the Court to look at the reason Mrs. Smith refuses to offer the speech it seeks to compel, and it claims that the reason is that she objects to the “protected characteristics” of certain customers. But the parties’ stipulations state, to the contrary, that Mrs. Smith will gladly conduct business with those having protected characteristics so long as the custom graphics and websites she is asked to create do not violate her beliefs.

Mrs. Smith stresses that she does not create expressions that defy any of her beliefs for any customer, whether that involves encouraging violence, demeaning another person, or promoting views inconsistent with her religious commitments.

The First Amendment’s protections belong to all, not just to speakers whose motives the government finds worthy.

At this point, my cynical soul is too heavy with sadness to find it  worth the effort to read the dissent.  A single line from the dissent, taken at random, will suffice to justify my antipathy:

A social system of discrimination created an environment in which LGBT people were unsafe. Who could forget the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard?

Note that the murder of Matthew Shepard was a meth dealer and user. He knew the men who beat him to death in a methamphetamine frenzy. In fact, Aaron McKinney was his sodomy partner. The argument was over a drug deal gone bad. It was not a hate crime. It had nothing to do with anti-sodomy sentiment. It is utterly irrelevant to this case.

Sotomayor is repeating what she knows or should know is an outrageous lie. It is the Blood Libel sodomites use to demonize normals.

Even if, however, this outrageous lie had been true, and if sodomites, instead of being a special privileged class, were subject to random violence motivated by bigoted hatred of the most reprehensible sort, there is nothing in the US Constitution that would allow the compulsion of speech to uphold and promote sodomy.

Compelling speech to promote the viewpoint or lifestyle of an allegedly hated minority so as to allegedly diminish the alleged hatred, is not a legitimate government end, nor is it the least intrusive means of achieving this end even if it were.

I read not another word of this illogical and dishonest doublethink. Such stuff is an insult to every jurist and judge since the time of Hammurabi.

For better or worse, I have lost any faith in the ability of an Enemy jurist to conduct himself with the minimum integrity and dignity needed to make an honest argument of any sort, much less a legally cogent argument, in favor of their position.

The reader is invited to invited to read for himself here.