SCOTUS Issues

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

Amy Coney Barrett called on to recuse herself from upcoming gay rights case over faith group affiliation



Former members of the charismatic Christian group, People of Praise, claim Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a member of the community, can not be impartial in the upcoming 303 Creative LLC v Elenis case, which will determine if a graphic design firm must include same-sex weddings on the wedding websites it designs.

The ex-members, who consider themselves to be “survivors” of the People of Praise, are calling on Barrett to recuse herself based on her continued affiliation with the group, according to The Guardian. Her involvement with the group, they argue, indicates that she has participated in anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

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If you Google “People of Praise,” article after article describes the group as “secretive,” with some going as far as to call it a cult.

While Coney Barrett has not publicly discussed her affiliation with the group, as she was heading into her Senate confirmation hearings in Oct. 2020, the Catholic Trump nominee to the Supreme Court became the subject of several mainstream media hit pieces, which jumped through journalistic hoops to paint her as the poster child for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”





 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

No joke: Supreme Court case could take a big bite out of the First Amendment


The court system often is where humor goes to die. For those seeking to use satire or parody of corporations, jokes often run into trademark or other lawsuits and result in a little more than “ha, ha, thump.”

The same bad audience could await the defendant in Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC. The Supreme Court just accepted a case involving a tongue-in-cheek dog chew toy made to resemble a Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle. VIP prevailed in defending the toy as protected speech, but the distiller wants the Supreme Court to declare such parodies to be trademark violations.

The docket this term is actually a hoot of parody cases.

Another pending case is Novak v. City of Parma, in which Anthony Novak was prosecuted for posting a parody of the website of his local police department. He was charged with (and later acquitted of) a felony under an Ohio law prohibiting the use of a computer to “disrupt” or “interrupt” police functions.
 

stgislander

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
I would think JD Properties would have to prove some kind of harm, but...

You mean to me sane minds between JD Properties and VIP Products couldn't come to some agreement before it came to this. It's a damn dog squeeky toy for heaven's sake.
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
For your consideration ...

I would think JD Properties would have to prove some kind of harm, but...

You mean to me sane minds between JD Properties and VIP Products couldn't come to some agreement before it came to this. It's a damn dog squeeky toy for heaven's sake.
Precedents must be set somehow. Aka, Woke corporations and woke mega business with those special ESG ratings ....... "We will not be mocked!!!!!!!".
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
In The New York Times today, David Cole, the national legal director of the ACLU — which has come a long way since defending the Nazis of Skokie on neutral principle grounds — says “The First Amendment Is Not a License to Discriminate” (before the headline was edited post-publication). Why? Because otherwise, “interior decorators, landscape architects, tattoo parlors, sign painters and beauty salons, among countless other businesses whose services contain some expressive element, would all be free to hang out signs refusing to serve Muslims, women, the disabled, African Americans or any other group.” During Monday’s arguments, Justice Sonia Sotomayor similarly claimed that the case would be “the first time in the Supreme Court’s history” that it would allow a business to “refuse to serve a customer based on race, sex, religion or sexual orientation.”

This is the lie at the heart of the debate.

First off, if leftists insist on framing the speech debate as a binary choice between compulsion and discrimination … then yes, free expression, explicitly laid out in the Constitution, should trump the right of a stranger to walk into a store and demand the owner say something he does not believe. Using Sotomayor’s identitarian calculus, a shopkeeper would never be able to refuse the demands of any customer who happened to be gay.


 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court considers whether to force a religious web designer to make a website celebrating a same-sex marriage. Several of the more conservative justices seek to draw a line between anti-discrimination law — laws on the state and federal level preventing “discrimination” on the basis of “sexual orientation” — and religious freedom. They do so by creating distinctions on the basis of expressive behavior (say, artistic expression in making a website) versus simple services provision (say, running a restaurant); they do so by distinguishing between services that require a message (say, baking a wedding cake) and serving gay couples without any message attached.

All of this legal hairsplitting is being done in an attempt to craft a form of the so-called Utah Compromise. That compromise put in place an anti-discrimination law with specific religious exemptions. But the Utah Compromise creates two additional problems: first, it stigmatizes belief in traditional marriage as a sort of vestige of religious bigotry we allow out of an outdated sympathy for the antiquated Bible-believers; second, it does not extend the rights of religious people outside of religious institutions. And, as it turns out, most religious people spend most of their time outside of religious institutions.

None of this would be necessary had we not undergone a complete transformation of the constitutional order over the past few decades. The Constitution of the United States provides zero power to the federal government to violate freedom of speech or association or religion. But, as Christopher Caldwell has pointed out in “The Age of Entitlement,” the Civil Rights Act created a “rival Constitution” dedicated to violating those freedoms in the name of anti-discrimination. One can agree that racial bigotry is evil while still recognizing that the intrusion of the CRA into private behavior — not merely in ending state-sponsored discrimination, which was necessary and appropriate — amounts of a massive expansion of federal power in violation of the Constitution.

The legal obliteration of the distinction between governmental and private activity was only one prong of the new societal remolding. The second was the philosophical obliteration of the distinction between immutable characteristics and behavior. The case can easily be made morally that people ought not be victims of discrimination based on their immutable characteristics, like race; rejecting moral disapproval of particular behavior, however, means destroying the basis for any moral system. Yet that is what the law does when it likens race to sexual orientation philosophically.


 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

The Supreme Court is preparing to strike down forced speech



The liberal minority on the Court and the liberal media argue that such a decision will lead to a new Jim Crow era where the providers of public accommodation are allowed to refuse services to people on the basis of their sexual preferences or skin color.

That argument is incorrect and probably not even sincere. Here’s why.

The First Amendment of course prohibits the government from banning speech. Less recognized is that the First Amendment also prohibits the government from compelling speech. That means it’s unconstitutional for the government to prohibit you from voicing support for gay marriage and it’s equally unconstitutional for the government to require you to voice such support.

A website is a form of speech and so it is protected by the First Amendment. Within broad limits, the government cannot prohibit particular expressions on a website, nor can the government mandate particular expressions on a website.

But, say the liberals, that would mean that a website designer can simply refuse to provide services to gays and, by extension, to Blacks.

No, it doesn’t mean that. Setting aside the debatable question of whether a website constitutes a public accommodation, the basic logical flaw to the liberals’ argument is that it confuses the identity of the customer with the identity of the service he’s buying.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
Why Moore v. Harper Terrifies Democrats


The U.S. Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper last week. The case involves a mundane constitutional issue concerning the definition of “legislature” as used in the elections clause. Yet it has produced panic among Democrats and a torrent of portentous predictions about the death of democracy from various leftist law professors. In the Washington Post, for example, Harvard University’s Noah Feldman expressed alarm that the court took up the “insane” case at all.

Is Moore v. Harper really insane? Of course not. The case arose early this year when the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down a redistricting map produced by the state Legislature, then replaced it with a redistricting scheme of its own. The North Carolina General Assembly petitioned SCOTUS for relief on the grounds that this action violated Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the petitioners are on solid legal ground, as constitutional lawyers David Rivkin Jr. and Andrew Grossman explain in the Wall Street Journal:

The Elections Clause directs “the legislature” to regulate congressional elections, which includes drawing district maps. State courts aren’t part of the legislative process, and thus the North Carolina Supreme Court was obligated to uphold the General Assembly’s map.… State courts have the power to interpret election regulations, but they can’t override the legislature’s handiwork unless it conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or a statute enacted by Congress.

Few readers will find this argument frightening, yet human rights lawyer Steven Donziger insists in the Guardian that it is “terrifying.” To appreciate why this case is so scary to the Democrats and their lawyers, you have to consider the outsized role litigation plays in their approach to elections. Convincing state courts to change election laws — whether they involve district maps, statutory deadlines, or signature rules for mail-in ballots — is as important to Democratic strategy as are voter registration drives and turnout operations.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

There is no ‘horseshoes and hand grenades’ exception in the First Amendment and latest SCOTUS case proves it




So when Cole claims that Lorie discriminates because she declines to create "identical" websites for same-sex and opposite-sex weddings, that makes no sense. Why would anyone want someone else’s custom wedding website with pictures, text, images, and stories celebrating and directing them to a different wedding? Lorie doesn’t offer identical, off-the-shelf, plug ’n’ play websites like that. And if she did, she would happily sell such websites celebrating marriages between a man and woman to anyone.

What Cole really means is if you exchange details in the websites like the text and images and stories — the actual content — then he thinks it’s still the identical service. For Cole, it’s all just generic websites. But a website celebrating John and Jim, with their pictures and their text about how they met, fell in love, and will marry conveys a very different message when you replace it with content, pictures and text about someone else’s wedding and marriage, whether that’s for Mark and Paul or Tom and Jane.

There is no "horseshoes and hand grenades" exception in the First Amendment. The government cannot force a Muslim calligrapher to write "Believe Jesus" for a church under the theory that it is just providing the "same calligraphy services" when he writes "Believe Muhammad" for a mosque. Newsflash: Different words and different pictures can convey very different meanings. And celebrating same-sex marriage is a very different message than celebrating marriage between a man and a woman.

Nor can the ACLU or other Colorado supporters — like the Biden administration — apply their "same-service" theory consistently. In a telling moment at oral argument, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked the Biden administration if the government could force a gay website designer to create a website for a Catholic student group promoting their religious belief about marriage.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

Left-Wing Vox Ignores Separation of Powers, Suggests Pushing Justices Sotomayor and Kagan to Retire




After then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell steadfastly refused to seat Merrick Garland on the court after he was nominated by Barack Obama in 2016, and just as steadfastly marshaled Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett onto the court in 2020, hysterical Democrats called for packing the Supreme Court after Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

So, after even Biden opposed the court-packing idea, Ian Millhiser, a senior correspondent with left-wing rag Vox, suggested another plan to Democrats after 87-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg remained on the court until her 2020 death: “persuade” the left’s two most beloved liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor (68) and Elana Kagan (62) to retire while the Democrats control the White House and Senate, and replace them with younger, radical associate justices like Ketanji Brown Jackson. Here’s Millhiser:

The U.S. Senate is a fundamentally broken institution Democratic judges need to account for that in their retirement decisions.
We have now lived with the consequences of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s late-life arrogance for more than two years.

On cue, Mark Joseph Stern, senior writer for Slate, another left-wing rag, hopped aboard Millhiser’s train:

I think Sotomayor and Kagan are brilliant justices and I’d be sad to see them go. But Ian is indisputably correct about the political calculus here. After 2025, Democrats may not hold the White House and the Senate for a decade+. This argument should be taken seriously.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member

Is Justice Sonia Sotomayor about to be pushed off the Supreme Court?

By Andrea Widburg

When one reads about Sotomayor’s early career after graduating from Yale, two things stand out: She was a hard worker and a mediocre thinker and lawyer. I’m a huge believer in being a hard worker, which will trump genius nine times out of ten. However, when it comes to Supreme Court justices, we want them to be more than hard workers. We want them to be brains.

Throughout her tenure on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor has made statements from the bench that leave one questioning her mental wattage. Last year, when the Supreme Court was hearing about Biden’s attempt to use OSHA to enforce vaccine mandates, she was such a font of misinformation that even leftist media outlets were forced to correct what she said:







But hey, nobody expects a lawyer to understand numbers. One thing lawyers should understand, though, is that the Founders never expressed a desire to build a wall between Church and state. That came from Thomas Jefferson’s pen in an 1802 letter long after the First Amendment was ratified. The Founders' concern was only that the government would not control or mandate worship or keep people away from institutions based on their faith. But that didn’t stop a Supreme Court justice from assigning that idea to the Founders:


 
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