From baristas refusing to serve Latter-day Saints coffee drinks to children in KKK outfits visiting mall Santas, hypotheticals were bizarre this week.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court heard the term’s big First Amendment case: 303 Creative v. Elenis, involving a graphic designer who will work for gay people but not create websites for same-sex weddings. The argument went about as you’d expect, with plenty of culture-war allusions that didn’t change anybody’s mind and quickly became fodder for internet jokes.
If all you care about is the result, let me put the bottom line up front: Lorie Smith, the owner of the 303 Creative shop in Littleton, Colorado, will win 6-3. A clear majority of justices were uncomfortable with forcing someone to create expression they disagreed with. And unlike the 2018 case of Jack Phillips, the baker at Masterpiece Cakeshop, everyone agrees that Smith’s business is expressive.
What will happen when Smith wins? In an MSNBC interview after the argument, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser envisioned a world where baristas refuse serving Latter-day Saints “specialized lattes” if they don’t embrace the principles of the faith. (It’s not clear if he knows members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints typically don’t drink coffee, let alone “specialized lattes.”)
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