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SCOTUS upholds freedom of conscience in government heralded as ‘game changer’ in America’s culture wars

SCOTUS upholds freedom of conscience in government heralded as ‘game changer’ in America’s culture wars

The US Supreme Court handed down another historic decision in a case that will surely be consequential in America’s culture wars.

SCOTUS upheld Colorado resident Lorie Smith’s right to work in her chosen occupation without being forced to endorse messages that violate her freedom of conscience.

According to the judgment of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, “Held: The First Amendment Prohibits Colorado From Compelling A Website Designer To Create Designs Expressive With Messages The Designer Disagrees With.” The essential reasoning of the court in the case is as follows.

The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act “prohibits all ‘public accommodations’ from denying ‘the full and equal enjoyment’ of its goods and services to any customer based on his race, creed, disability, sexual orientation or other statutorily enumerated characteristic” . sentence pronounced.

The background of the case provides important context to the 6-3 decision, which once again split along ideological lines. Conservative members of SCOTUS defended Smith’s constitutional rights not to violate his conscience while pursuing his creative endeavors in the marketplace.

“Before the district court, Ms. Smith and the State stipulated to a series 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; will not produce content that ‘contradicts biblical truth’” regardless of who orders it; The belief of Ms. Smith that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is a sincere conviction; Ms. Smith offers design services that are “expressive” and her “original and personalized” creations “bring[e] to the overall message your business conveys through the websites you create; 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 the message of Ms. Smith and 303 Creative celebrating and promoting” her vision of marriage; the viewers of the websites of Ms. Smith “will know that the websites are their original artwork;” and ‘[t]here are numerous companies in the state of Colorado and across the country that offer custom website design services.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch issued the majority opinion.

“The First Amendment envisions America as a rich and complex place where all people are free to think and speak as they choose, not as the government demands. Because Colorado seeks to deny that promise, the judgment is reversed,” he wrote Gorsuch.

Greg Price observed that Gorsuch, in his written opinion, “spent a good chunk of the majority opinion on creative 303 making an absolute nuke of Sotomayor’s dissent.” Price then cited the Gorsuch decision that “[i]Dissent is hard to read [by the liberal minded judges] and concludes that we are looking at the same case.”

Lmfao Justice Gorsuch spent a good chunk of the majority opinion in 303 creative to take an absolute nuke on Sotomayor’s dissent:

“It’s hard to read the dissent and conclude that we’re looking at the same case.”

— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 30, 2023

“The dissent abandons what this court’s cases have recognized time and time again: A commitment to speech only for some people and some messages is no commitment at all,” he added.

Justice Sotomayor, in her dissent, criticized the ruling as a “sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people. The United States Supreme Court is declaring that a particular type of business, still that is open to the public, has a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class. This is the first time the Court has done so.”

He also criticized what he considered “[s]state-sponsored discrimination’ and a ‘social system of discrimination’ where LGBT people feel ‘unsafe’.

But Gorsuch trashed his reasoning in his retort to the “Latina Sage.” As such, Gorsuch chided Sotomayor, saying, “The dissent turns so much on the facts that it opens fire on its own position.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch criticizes Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in 303’s creative opinion:

“the dissent turns so much on the facts that it opens fire on its own position”

“The dissent’s treatment of precedents parallels its handling of the facts.”

— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 30, 2023

One such example of factual error is Sotomayor mischaracterizing Matthew Shepard’s case as a hate crime, rather than a homicide by a fellow drug dealer, as the Washington Free Beacon’s Joe Gabriel Simonson pointed out.

In short, the minority justices undermined their own position by seeking to deprive Americans of the rights that the state purports to grant to “favored” groups. These “rights” are, in fact, no rights at all, and a violation of the constitutional promise of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Megyn Kelly called the decision a “game changer” in a wide-ranging comment on Twitter.

Lorie Smith’s free speech rights trumped CO anti-discrimination law. What does this mean for, say, mandates on preferred pronouns in places like New York? GAME CHANGER.
From Gorsuch’s majority opinion: “A ruling for the state would create an untenable choice for Smith. ‘If she . . .

— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 30, 2023

“Guys, this is a big win,” he said. “CO Baker won 7-2 on the Free Exercise Clause, but this is the ruling we needed on FREE SPEECH REASONS. The state has no right to force you to speak in a way that align with their views but challenge them [your] conscience on a matter of great importance.’ Huge huge huge!!! Think of how many circumstances this could apply to.”

“Lorie Smith’s free speech rights trumped CO’s anti-discrimination law,” he continued. “What does this mean for, say, mandates on preferred pronouns in places like New York? GAME CHANGER. From Gorsuch’s majority opinion: “A ruling for the state would create an unsustainable choice for Smith. “If he wants to speak, he must speak as the State demands or face sanctions for expressing himself [sic] their own beliefs, penalties which may include mandatory participation in remedial training, submission of periodic compliance reports. . . and pay monetary fines”.

This SCOTUS ruling follows the overturning of affirmative action policies in college admissions and the strengthening of religious freedom by ruling on behalf of a Christian postal worker who asked not to be forced to work on Sunday.

It looks like the US Supreme Court has finally decided to strike a blow for equal rights in America’s culture wars. Let’s hope it’s just the beginning and it’s not too late.

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