It took me a moment to realize it was completely wrong.
Those of you writing up 303 Creative will want to be sure to note that the alleged request was made up.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 30, 2023
SCOTUS just ruled on something makebelieve.https://t.co/jiIyDg0TxE
Long before the Supreme Court took up one of the last remaining cases it will decide this session—the 303 Creative v. Elenis case, concerning a Colorado web designer named Lorie Smith who refuses to make websites for same-sex weddings and seeks an exemption from anti-discrimination laws—there was a couple named Stewart and Mike. According to court filings from the plaintiff, Stewart contacted Smith in September 2016 about his wedding to Mike “early next year.” He wrote that they “would love some design work done for our invites, placenames etc. We might also stretch to a website.” Stewart included his phone number, email address, and the URL of his own website—he was a designer too, the site showed.
This week, I decided to call Stewart and ask him about his inquiry.
The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its opinion in a case in which Stewart plays a minor role, a case that could be, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated by way of a question at oral argument in December, “the first time in the Court’s history … [that] a commercial business open to the public, serving the public, that it could refuse to serve a customer based on race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation.” (Update: On Friday, the court ruled 6-3 in the web designer’s favor.) It took just a few minutes to reach him. I assumed at least some reporters over the years had contacted him about his website inquiry to 303 Creative—his contact information wasn’t redacted in the filing. But my call, he said, was “the very first time I’ve heard of it.”A) assuming arguendo this is true, somebody did some very sloppy work at the trial level, and somebody else failed to check the factual basis of the plaintiff’s complaint. [But, as I finally realized, this is not true. But let me continue with my original argument, so you can go where I went.]
Lorie Smith wants to expand her graphic design business, 303 Creative LLC, to include services for couples seeking wedding websites. But Ms. Smith worries that Colorado will use the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act to compel her—in violation of the First Amendment—to cre- ate websites celebrating marriages she does not endorse. To clarify her rights, Ms. Smith filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the State from forcing her to create websites celebrating marriages that defy her belief that marriage should be reserved to unions between one man and one woman.Sounds like she sought a declaratory judgment, which is a statutory way of getting an advisory opinion from the court. [But plaintiff sought an injunction, not a judgment.]
I mean, I don’t like this Court either; but the solution is not making up reasons to despise it that aren’t true themselves. The view of history is skewed, yes; but welcome to America. We’ve been skewing history from our beginning “Standing” is a legal argument, and should be fought as one. “Verifiably false claims”? If you mean this case, there is only one verifiably false claim. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the one you mean.
Until & unless Democrats decide to get serious about reining in or expanding the Supreme Court, we’re going to be stuck with a unhinged and unaccountable body that decides cases based on nonexistent standing, verifiably false claims and a view of history so skewed it’s laughable— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) June 30, 2023