Supreme Court Listens To Oral Arguments For 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis
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On Monday, December 5, 2022, oral hearings were being held for the case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis at the Supreme Court. The court observers believed the conservative majority would favor Smith in that she should not be compelled to write speech against her faith, but were concerned about where to draw a line so that other anti-discrimination laws would not be affected by their decision. Please feel free to read about this case, from excerpt of wikipedia, in italics, below:
303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (Docket 21–476) is a pending United States Supreme Court case related to the conflict between LGBT rights in public accommodations and First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Lorie Smith is a website designer, running her business as 303 Creative, LLC. registered in Colorado. Smith had been developing websites for others and wanted to move into making wedding announcement websites. Smith claims it would have been against her Christian faith to make sites for non-heterosexual marriages. She wanted to post a notice on her business website to notify users of her unwillingness to create websites promoting same-sex marriages, and instead would refer gay patrons to other potential designers who may provide services to them.
Before implementing the notice, Smith discovered that such a notice would violate the Colorado anti-discrimination state laws that were amended in 2008, which prevents public businesses from discriminating against gay people, as well as making statements to that effect. Smith, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, sued Colorado in 2016 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, seeking to block enforcement of the anti-discrimination law. The district court waited for the result of the 2018 Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission which dealt with the same anti-discrimination law. As Masterpiece was ruled on narrow procedural grounds, finding that the Colorado agency that ruled against Phillips were unfairly hostile to his religious beliefs, the district court ruled against Smith in 2019. At that time, Colorado had not investigated Smith and there was no evidence that she had engaged in discrimination
Smith appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which upheld the district court decision in a 2–1 ruling. In the majority ruling, the Tenth Circuit held the anti-discrimination law satisfied strict scrutiny under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, deepening a circuit split with decisions issued by the Arizona Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich dissented in the Tenth’s decision, writing “the majority takes the remarkable — and novel — stance that the government may force Ms. Smith to produce messages that violate her conscience.”
Smith filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, which the Supreme Court granted in February 2022. While the petition asked whether Employment Division v. Smith should be overruled, the Supreme Court limited the case to the question of whether Colorado’s law violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Unlike the previous decision in Masterpiece, where the court had a 5-4 majority of conservative justices, 303 Creative was heard under a 6-3 conservative majority following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy and death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, replaced with Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, respectively. This new court has been seen as more favorable to religious rights based on several key cases decided during previous terms.
About 75 amicus briefs were submitted prior to oral hearings. Among those supporting Smith include 20 conservative-leaning states, law professors, several religious organizations, and conservative leaning think tanks such as the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the Cato Institute. Those supporting the state of Colorado include twenty other liberal states, the Biden administration, several law professors, and liberal-leaning groups such as Public Citizen, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Oral hearings were held on December 5, 2022. Court observers believed the conservative majority would favor Smith in that she should not be compelled to write speech against her faith, but were concerned about where to draw a line so that other anti-discrimination laws would not be affected by their decision.
Lorie Smith runs a studio called 303 Creative in Colorado that designs and publishes websites for individuals, businesses, churches, charities, and numerous others. Lorie loves the work she does and puts her heart into every design. Lorie’s free speech rights as an artist give her not only the right to speak but also the right not to speak. Free speech is for everyone, not just those who agree with the government. It is long past due for creative professionals and artists such as Lorie to stop living under the threat of compelled speech and government coercion, in the video published on May 26, 2022, by Alliance Defending Freedom, as “303 Creative v. Elenis“, below:
On Monday, The Supreme Court heard oral argument in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in the video published on December 5, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “JUST IN: Supreme Court Signals It May Side With Web Designer Who Wants To Refuse Same-Sex Couples“, below:
Justice Amy Coney Barrett questioned Principal Deputy Solicitor General Brian Fletcher during oral arguments for 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “Amy Coney Barrett Asks Biden Lawyer If Gay Web Designers Could Turn Down A Christian Organization“, below:
Justice Amy Coney Barrett questions Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson during oral arguments for 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Oral Argument, in the video published on Dec. 5, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “‘How Can You Disagree With That?’: Amy Coney Barrett Presses Lawyer In Same-Sex Wedding Site Case“, below:
Justice Neil Gorsuch asks a question during the oral arguments in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Oral Argument, in the video published on Dec. 5, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “‘Does A Freelance Writer Have To Write A Press Release For The Church Of Scientology?’: Gorsuch“, below:
On Monday, Kristen Waggoner, Senior Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, speaks during oral arguments during 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, in the video published on Dec. 6, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “‘Would Take Away First Amendment Rights’: Christian Designer’s Lawyer Argues In Front Of SCOTUS“, below:
On Tuesday, Kristen Waggoner, the lawyer for 303 Creative LLC, argued before the Supreme Court, in the video published on Dec. 9, 2022, by Forbes Breaking News, as “‘No One Should Be Compelled To Speak A Message’: Christian Site Designer’s Lawyer To Supreme Court“, below:
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on December 5, 2022 The Supreme Court heard oral argument in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case on whether a Colorado anti-discrimination law violates a website designer’s free speech rights because she refuses to design wedding content for same-sex couples. Lorie Smith, owner of 303 Creative, creates websites and graphic designs for a variety of clients and wanted to expand her business into the wedding market. She decided she would create content for anyone except same-sex couples and those who she feels go against her religious beliefs. Ms. Smith designed an ad web page for her new wedding services, but she never posted it. She said under Colorado’s public accommodation law she would be prohibited from doing so. She filed suit instead alleging the law violates her free speech rights, in the video published on Dec. 7, 2022, by Joseph Hewes, as “Supreme Court: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Oral Argument – Oral Argument – 2022” below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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