You are a Supreme Court Justice. Assume that the events below, which are real, are being appealed to you and your Court. Read the information about the case, and write an essay of approximately 7-10 pages telling how you would decide it and why:
1) What is the law being challenged, which parts of the Constitution is at issue, and what is the legal question your Court is being asked to decide?
2) What is your decision and why? Answer the question by citing specific case precedents from our class in your answer; explain how you are applying those specific precedents to the case at hand. Don’t just summarize relevant cases, but show how they are similar to or different from this case, and how they are guiding your decision. Use only cases we discussed in class. Do not do outside research, do not read the Court of Appeals’ ruling, and do not use cases we did not discuss in class. Citing more cases is better than citing fewer—show me what you have learned so far this semester.
Prove to me that you know and understand the material we have studied, that you have thought about and analyzed it, and that you can apply it to the material at hand.
Be as detailed as possible.
I will not accept it late. Please plan ahead.
303 Creative LLC v Elenis. Oral arguments in this case will be heard by the Court on December 5.
[This summary is from ScotusBlog, Smith’s brief to the Court of Appeals, and that court’s opinions]
Lorie Smith, who owns a graphic design firm, wants to expand her business to include wedding websites to “promot[e]” her “religious belief that God designed marriage as an institution between one man and one woman.” Because, Smith says, she “cannot create websites that promote messages contrary to her faith, such as messages that condone violence or promote sexual immorality, abortion, or same-sex marriage,” she does not want to design websites for same-sex weddings, and she wants to post a message on her own website to explain that. But the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits businesses that are open to the public from refusing the full and equal enjoyment of services on the basis of sexual orientation, or announcing their intent to do so.
Smith went to federal court, seeking a ruling that Colorado could not enforce its anti-discrimination law against her. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed that Smith’s creation of wedding websites is speech, and that Colorado law compels Smith to create speech that she would otherwise refuse. But the anti-discrimination law does not violate the Constitution, the Court of Appeals concluded in ruling against Smith.
“Colorado has a compelling interest in protecting both the dignity interests of members of marginalized groups and their material interests in accessing the commercial marketplace,” Judge Mary Beck Briscoe wrote for the majority, adding that the law is narrowly tailored to address that interest. “To be sure,” Judge Briscoe wrote, “L.G.B.T. consumers may be able to obtain wedding-website design services from other businesses; yet, L.G.B.T. consumers will never be able to obtain wedding-related services of the same quality and nature as those that appellants offer.” She added that “Colorado may prohibit speech that promotes unlawful activity, including unlawful discrimination.”
In dissent, Chief Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich, citing George Orwell, said “the majority takes the remarkable — and novel — stance that the government may force Ms. Smith to produce messages that violate her conscience.”
After considering the case at four consecutive conferences, the Supreme Court justices agreed to take up Smith’s claim under the free speech clause of the First Amendment. They declined to review two other questions that Smith raised in her petition for review: whether requiring Smith to create custom websites for same-sex couples violates the First Amendment’s free exercise clause, and whether the Supreme Court should overrule its 1990 decision in Employment Division v Smith.
Despite what the Court has decided to consider, you are going to consider this case on free exercise and religious establishment grounds, which as you know can intersect with free speech, and you are also going to consider this case on privacy grounds, as the anti-discrimination law is partly based on that.
This case is your court. Using your knowledge of cases having to do with religion and with privacy, how do you rule and why? Cite as many cases as possible on the topic. Be as detailed as possible. See page 1 for details.
Griswold v Connecticut
Cases to use: boners v hardwick 1986-
Burrell v hobby lobby 2014-
Reynolds’s v US 1878-
US v Ballard 1944-
Obergefell v Hodges-(gay marriage rights)
Loving v VA-(interracial marriage, violates equal protection clause/due process clause
Lemon v Kurtzman-
Reynolds v United States
Goldman v Weinberger
Wisconsin v Yoder
Sherbet v verner1963
Only these cases. No outside cases.