Sen. Mike Lee: Christian Baker Case About First Amendment, ‘Compelled Speech’

Sen. Mike Lee is warning that the case of a Colorado baker in authorized peril for refusing to bake a specialty wedding ceremony cake for a same-sex couple’s dedication ceremony is about greater than spiritual liberty or LGBT rights, however about whether or not the federal government can compel speech.

“The authorities can not pressure you to talk the place you’ll select to stay silent.” @SenMikeLee says.

Lee, R-Utah, was amongst what GOP members stated are no less than 86 members of Congress signing onto an amicus transient that will likely be filed in help of the plaintiffs within the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which the Supreme Court will likely be contemplating in its upcoming time period, which begins subsequent month.

“This is a compelled-speech case,” Lee stated at a Capitol Hill press convention Thursday. “The Supreme Court has stated that the First Amendment, along with doing all of the issues that it does, prohibits the federal government from requiring people from making a specific assertion with which they disagree. The authorities can not pressure you to talk the place you’ll select to stay silent.”

Lee, a constitutional scholar and the writer of the 2015 guide “Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document,” additionally stated the case will not be a public-accommodations case, however relatively, is a viewpoint-discrimination case.

“This isn’t a case the place somebody refused to promote a pre-made good to another person, primarily based on their sexuality or their orientation,” stated Lee, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in 2006-2007.

“It is as a substitute one during which the couple at concern requested the cake baker make a specialty cake, not a pre-ordered, pre-made, pre-designed form of factor. But, [they were] asking the baker to make use of the baker’s skills and specialty to craft a cake carrying a message with which the baker disagrees. So these instances are completely different than instances involving public lodging.”

The members of Congress had been joined by Jack Phillips, proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in addition to by Barronelle Stutzman, proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington. Members of Congress have requested the Supreme Court to contemplate the Stutzman case as effectively, after the state took punitive motion in opposition to her for not offering flowers for a same-sex wedding ceremony.

In the Colorado case, Phillips declined to bake a cake with a rainbow picture celebrating a ceremony for a same-sex union. Phillips stated he would have gladly offered any baked items to the couple, however declined to particularly create a cake with a picture that violated his conscience.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided the cake store violated public-accommodations legal guidelines.

“Every American artist has the correct to create or to not create,” Phillips stated.

In the Washington state case, the state lawyer common’s workplace sued Stutzman, claiming she violated the state’s anti-discrimination legislation in declining to offer floral preparations for a same-sex wedding ceremony.

“This isn’t just about my freedom, however about everybody’s freedom,” Stutzman stated.

The different members of Congress on the press convention had been Reps. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; Mike Johnson, R-La.; Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.; and Jody Hice, R-Ga. They agreed the case might set a seismic First Amendment precedent.

“Government coercion of speech that violates the spiritual conscience of the speaker will not be solely a violation of the First Amendment; it is usually patently un-American, and it’s a violation of private liberty,” Hartzler stated. “A authorities that tells you what you possibly can’t say is unhealthy sufficient. But a authorities that tells you what you could say, and what you could do, and punishes you in case you don’t, is horrifying. That form of state energy ought to scare all of us, regardless of the place we stand on this concern.”

Lamborn, who represents a district close to Phillips’ store, agreed.

“If you possibly can prohibit free speech in a single space, nothing can cease authorities from proscribing free speech in different areas,” he stated.

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