A Littleton, Colorado-based web designer who has waited six years to defend her business, her right to free association, free speech, property control, and practice of religion, finally will get her “day in court” before the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS).
Lorie Smith, owner of 303Creative.com, December 5 will bring to the “High Court” her challenge to “CADA” (the 2016-passed “Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act”) that, superficially, appears to promote “diversity” and “liberation”, when, in fact, it does precisely the opposite, imposing state edicts on all those who would like to independently think, pray, and engage in private, peaceful interactions without the guns and gavels of government hovering around them.
“When Colorado’s leftist legislators passed the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, or CADA, Smith immediately saw the potential threat to her business and filed a preemptive lawsuit. If the new law were allowed to stand, her business would be a prime target: She declared that, according to her Christian beliefs, she would not build a website for a marriage that conflicted with those beliefs.”
So, she pursued an injunction (303 Creative, Inc. v. Elenis) against the execution of the statute, losing in the lower state courts, and, most recently, before a three-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Adelman notes that there was a lone voice of sanity in that July, 2021 decision, the voice of Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich:
“The majority takes the remarkable — and novel — stance that the government may force Ms. Smith to produce messages that violate her conscience.… [It] concludes … that Colorado has a compelling interest in forcing Ms. Smith to speak a government-approved message against her religious beliefs.
No case has ever gone so far.”
“’The government should never force creative professionals to promote a message or cause with which they disagree. That is quintessential free speech and artistic freedom,’ the group’s senior counsel, John Bursch, said in a statement.”
Curiously, the American Civil Liberties Union – long-adored by the left for its faux-defense of individual rights, but almost always conspicuously absent when it comes to defending the speech of conservatives, Christians, and when it comes to defending private property rights – has been more than silent on this Colorado attack on liberty and free association. In August, the ACLU filed a brief with the SCOTUS asking the Justices to REJECT the case and let the Tenth Circuit ruling stand – a move that, essentially, calls for Ms. Smith’s livelihood, property, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion to be directed by the state.
The ACLU seems oblivious to the fact that the CADA adopts a cloak of “fairness” while destroying Natural Rights, that no one has a “right” to force someone else to engage in efforts on his or her behalf, regardless of whether or not the incipient “service” is remunerated. Each of us owns his or her body, time, and honestly acquired property to support our lives. And government commands, telling us WHAT to do, and for or with WHOM, are enslaving, pure and simple.
It's a situation akin to that of Masterpiece Cakeshop from 2018, on which the SCOTUS majority ruled AGAINST Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission and in which the ACLU represented the same-sex couple who wanted the state to mandate that proprietor Jack Phillips bake them a cake for their same-sex wedding.
And it represents a troubling normalcy bias in the West.
To the north, this mentality is manifested in Canada’s infamous C-16 statute, which forces all employees and owners of businesses to use the “pronouns” that customers demand, if the company/shop is “regulated” by the central government. Needless to say, virtually all are “regulated” – i.e. told how to operate.
And in the US, this is manifested in anti-constitutional feel-good statutes like the George H. W. Bush-backed “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA), which told private business owners that their plans and their bottom-line expenses were subordinate to the dictates of the federal government.
“The ADA enshrined federal agencies and courtrooms as de facto dictators over all architectural plans in the private economy and poisoned every hiring and promotion decision with the threat of litigation. It has made it difficult to fire dangerous employees and given incompetents rights their poor employers do not have. To top it, it has increased unemployment among the truly disabled, and converted public attitudes toward them from empathy to distrust and worse.”
“The exact price tag of employers’ compliance with the ADA’s accommodation requirements—in terms of out-of-pocket expenditures and lost productivity—is unknown but undeniably substantial. More visible is the degree to which the ADA’s nebulous provisions get exploited by underperforming employees invoking a torrent of excuses, a subject that Walter Olson explored in his late 1990s book The Excuse Factory. Alas, most performance deficiencies—sleeping on the job, tardiness, absenteeism, customer complaints, conflicts with coworkers, lack of productivity, and inattention to detail—can easily be blamed on an ADA-protected condition.”
Incredibly, some people see it as problematic to leave one’s neighbor alone to run a peaceful business. They believe that without statutes to threaten state punishment for “discrimination,” minorities would not be served. But George Mason University economist Walter Williams has noted that this fear is historically inaccurate. Markets and the incentive to profit actually erode discriminatory barriers. And to dictate to others how their property is used – be it a bathroom at a private business or a computer-art program, as with Ms.Smith - is a form of enslavement that leads to all kinds of unintended consequences.
One of them being that the mandates push racism or bigotry under the rug, taking away the customers' chance to decide if they want to frequent a business that might actually be run by a racist.
And the perversity of government telling people they MUST do business with others can be exposed another way – by flipping it.
So, imagine walking down a sidewalk in a town where 99.99 percent of the population is non-racist, etc., but you walk by a shop owned by the single neo-Nazi in the region. Since he or she is in the “minority” would you be “discriminating AGAINST” him or her by not doing business in the shop?
When it comes to initiating peaceful associations and trades, relationships and contracts, we must be free to exercise our own wills.
Otherwise, regardless of the intent of “do-gooders”, those who would force us to do what they think is “good” are doing evil.
We will see what the Supreme Court thinks.
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