by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
First, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson releases a blistering defense of racial discrimination in her dissent from the Supreme Court’s affirmative-action decision Thursday.
Then, on Friday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor puts out a largely incoherent defense of state-compelled speech in commercial life.
The illiberal wing of the Supreme Court is having a tough week.
As soon as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Christian web designer named Lorie Smith, who had refused to create a gay wedding site, CNN blasted out this headline: “Supreme Court limits LGBTQ protections.”
CBS News followed by claiming the court ruled in “favor of a Colorado web designer who said her religious beliefs prevent her from taking on same-sex couples as clients.”
On and on it went, across the political media.
These are all lies.
And they are the same lies that rest at the heart of Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.
“Today is a sad day in American constitutional law and in the lives of LGBT people,” the justice lamented.
The Supreme Court, she went on, declared “that a particular kind of business, though open to the public, has a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class.”
This is incorrect.
Lorie Smith never turned away a customer because of their sexual preference or skin color or religious belief or anything else: She refused to create a message celebrating an event that conflicted with her sincerely held religious convictions.
She was practicing her First Amendment rights.
It’s an easy contention to prove.
If a straight person had tried to commission a same-sex wedding site, Smith would have turned them away, as well.
If a gay customer commissioned a website for their restaurant or hardware store or a haberdashery, Smith would have created it.