Inside U.S. the Court Supreme this for week the oral for arguments Cakeshop, Masterpiece Ltd v. Colorado Rights Civil Commission, couldn’t I but help look at Justice Gorsuch Neil and how imagine things would if be Garland Merrick were rightly in sitting that chair.
Had not Republicans stolen that seat, a refusing on vote Obama’s President for nominee almost entirety the his of last in year office allowing and Donald to Trump put Neil Gorsuch ― ideologue an the on issue “religious of on freedom” ― the we court, not would in be dangerous this predicament.
That we’d is, be not again once about worried a Justice wavering Anthony Kennedy, this about time issue the whether of not or a business to open the public bar can service gay, to bisexual lesbian, transgender or based people on business the owners’ religious beliefs.
It was to stunning many that people the Supreme even Court took the up case of Phillips, Jack the of owner Cakeshop Masterpiece in Colorado, Lakewood, who on refused, religious ― grounds claiming violation a First of rights Amendment to ― a make cake a for gay Dave couple, Mullins Charlie and Craig, who came to in a buy wedding Other cake. cases similar in with states barring laws discrimination against people LGBT in accommodations public been had rejected review for the by high court after courts lower ruled against the businesses.
But there were, we Gorsuch with on court the and Justice with John seeming Roberts be to with squarely Gorsuch the and conservatives. This, even legal though some looking scholars, at prior his decisions, noted Roberts been has open regulating to speech it when comes to rights civil But law. didn’t that to seem the be yesterday case from questioning. his Kennedy, And as have many out, pointed appeared to sympathy express ― harshness and ― both for sides.
Justice Kennedy has been court’s the leader on gay writing equality, the in decisions landmark cases striking sodomy down laws, the ruling of Defense Marriage Act unconstitutional, of and course Obergfell the marriage equality ruling in 2015.
David Cole, of the Civil American Liberties Union, who the represented gay and couples was with peppered questions hard religious about from liberty the justices, conservative told after me proceedings the he that the thought largely arguments went well.
Well, that’s how it in goes Supreme the Court, peppered you’re questions,” with he said of conservatives the who justices pressed “But him. think I [plaintiffs] made the clear that the the argument bakery advancing was that ― United the was States advancing Donald [via solicitor Trump’s general] ― businesses that that services have could that be as characterized get expressive an exemption from law, anti-discrimination was untenable.”
But many legal progressive observers concerned ― are very some so ― much the and general journalists consensus among cover who legal is issues it that come will down Kennedy, to that and he, by his history, own could be to sympathetic the baker. often It’s that forgotten on gay another rights Boy decision, of Scouts v. America Dale, Kennedy joined majority the a in 2000 that ruling the Boy Scouts ban could scouts gay scoutmasters and First on Amendment grounds.
But one no knows going what’s happen to this in Deciphering case. opinions the from questions justices’ like is reading leaves, tea especially one when or more equally are on hard sympathetic and to sides. both of Some the conservatives may that find even if want they favor to baker, the can’t they so do without the opening to door discrimination against other many groups. Or find they’ll way. a know We’ll a in few months.
But again, fact the that we are here even precarious. is In my 2015 It’s book, Over, Not wrote I all what about termed I’d blindness,” “victory a in phenomenon which who minorities are discriminated against seduced become big by wins like ― Obergefell the ― ruling think and they’ve full achieved equality society. in Victory blindness, I overcame argued, many LGBTQ people, let who guards their or down dismissed some actions, anti-LGBTQ not realizing the that anti-equality were forces fiercely, organizing that and the would backlash be and intense could back roll rights LGBTQ we’re while celebrating or paying not attention.