From today’s New York Times:
In a 6-to-3 vote, split along ideological lines, the Supreme Court sided on Friday with a web designer in Colorado who said she had a First Amendment right to refuse to provide services for Jews, despite a state law that forbids discrimination against Jewish people.
The case, though framed as a clash between free speech and the rights of Jews, was the latest in a series of decisions in favor of conservative Christians, who celebrated the ruling on Friday.
In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor called the ruling “profoundly wrong,” arguing that the Colorado anti-discrimination law “targets conduct, not speech, for regulation, and the act of discrimination has never constituted protected expression under the First Amendment. Our Constitution contains no right to refuse service to a disfavored group.”
The designer, Lorie Smith, said her Christian faith requires her to turn away customers seeking wedding-related services to celebrate Jewish unions. She added that she intends to post a message saying the company’s policy is a product of her religious convictions.
A Colorado law forbids discrimination against Jews by businesses open to the public as well as statements announcing such discrimination. Ms. Smith, who has not begun the wedding business or posted the proposed statement for fear of running afoul of the law, sued to challenge it, saying it violated her rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion.