Business owners, like customers, are entitled to be treated with dignity, and to speak out on issues that concern them. But business owners do not have a free pass to ignore content-neutral laws that prohibit conduct, such as outlawing discriminatory business practices. Robust protection of speech does not require gutting laws that help ensure that all persons—regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation—can buy the good and services they desire, free from discrimination.
CAC In the News
CAC President Elizabeth Wydra appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, concerning whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who broadly interpret the First Amendment’s guarantee of the freedom of speech, should be skeptical of these new complicity claims. They are not grounded in basic First Amendment principles, they ignore the Court’s precedents, and they would give businesses a license to take away the rights of those they serve. Our Constitution’s commitment to robust protection of speech does not require gutting protections that safeguard the equal dignity of all persons.
“The legal fight here is far from over,” said Brianne Gorod, the Constitutional Accountability Center’s chief counsel during Thursday’s call.
Further complicating the issue, the judge’s decision to throw out English’s request for a restraining order didn’t end the controversy: Both sides will draft briefs over the coming days regarding the actual law and not just a temporary stay, according to Brianne Gorod, chief counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center. “We’re at the very beginning of this litigation, and not the end,” Gorod said.