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General political chat

Discussion in 'Politics and Social Issues' started by truecoat, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    This. Exactly this. This is what it is about.

    Sexual Orientation, unlike race, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, citizenship, familial status, disability status, veteran status or genetic information (yeah, I went and pulled the full list...off the top of my head I would have said race, religion, gender...but, I knew there were more...

    This case is to provide SCOTUS guidance to support a claim that sexual orientation should be added to this list.

    No, he's exactly correct.
     
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  2. Quinnmac000

    Quinnmac000 Well-Known Member

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    Supreme courts rulings have overarchingly effects policies beyond just what the case is about and helps determine future judgements.

    Loving Vs Virginia helped pushed United States Vs Windsor despite being under the same umbrella but two extremely different subjects. Texas Vs Johnson literally detailed what is covered under the first amendment beyond flag burning which the case was originally about.

    As stated, states have passed laws regarding this subject, this ruling does play in to the legality of those laws which can be beneficial or detrimental.

    This country as a whole goes through a period of being progressive and then reverting and then being forced corrected into doing the right thing. I.e during WWII, racial tensions among whites and blacks went down due to working together on the war effort yet increased into the 60s.

    Its like how many people would not admit to being a white supremacist back in the 80s yet now they are open and out and vocal about it.

    You guys see cake. I see the refusal of multiple different business and services federal and state that can negative impact people for who they are.
     
  3. Quinnmac000

    Quinnmac000 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for understanding the intent of my argument despite how much we disagree on many things.
     
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  4. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    No, he isn’t. There are other laws in place for something as he described. This case will not determine if a medical professional can refuse treatment on a gay person.
     
  5. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    His argument was absurd, agreed. He tried and failed to make his point (I suspect even he knows the reductio was a bit...much...).

    But, he is, technically, correct. The ramifications of this ruling have to do with whether sexual orientation should be covered under the same provisions as other protected classes, such as age, race, gender, and I'll note, religion.

    Currently, there exists no federal protections for sexual orientation, leaving it up to States. Colorado, in this specific case, actually did have a law to this intent, and that is how this case percolated up to SCOTUS.

    The question is:

    Can a private business discriminate against an individual due to their sexual orientation? And, if they can, how does this not cause undue harm?

    If the State already has a law that says they can't, then the Baker (in this specific case) shouldn't have been allowed to do so.

    This is Colorado's position on the matter as well. The Baker was told he was in violation of State Law.

    Now, here is the problem.

    If this case goes in favor of the Baker, the legal effect, through the Federal Supremacy clause, that would mean that any state that has laws banning discrimination by private businesses due to Sexual Orientation are de facto meaningless, as long as the person in violation of those state laws uses a religious grounds or speech argument.

    And, that is the crux of their argument. It isn't about a wedding cake.
     
  6. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    I'll expand, because, why not...it's lunchtime.

    The opposing question is:

    Does the State have the authority to compel an individual to perform actions that violate their Federally protected religious values?

    The State says...that isn't what we our doing. Our law says that private BUSINESSES may not discriminate. The individual, in this case, represents the licensed business. And, therefore, whilst conducting the operations of the business, cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

    No matter how many logical cartwheels you do, you can't say that he didn't discriminate for that reason. He unabashedly did. Whether he did so with malice is irrelevant to the question. And, in doing so, his business violated the State Law.

    Mind you, the law views an LLC (which is likely what his licensed business is, I haven't checked) as different from the Individual.

    The Baker, individually, isn't being compelled to provide the service, the business is. That they are one and the same isn't of concern to the question at hand.

    The State says no. And, this falls back on other established civil rights precedent (the examples given earlier of the lunch counters, being one).

    So...the real question is...

    Does the State have the authority to compel a business to instruct and enforce their employees perform actions that violate their Federally protected religious values?

    And, that is a trickier question, when you think about it.
     
  7. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    My personal stance is that there should not be protected classes at all. I think the supremacy argument to prevent rights violations and enable civil recourse at the state and local level can be achieved through other, broader, means. The core of it though is my belief that the rights of the individual are paramount, but that government is a necessity. But, the government should carefully respect it's position to serve all of the people, so language within the law should strive to be as inclusive of all as possible, at all times. So, by specifying groups and/or beneficiaries...the mere act of specificity, by default, is exclusionary.

    That is a much longer discussion to be had than I have time to type out right now to fully explain my position, but that's the gist.

    But, the rubicon of specified class rights was crossed a long time ago. So, given that...

    Yes, I do understand the argument for it. And, if I were asked to come down on one side or another, in this case, strictly due to the impact the precedent creates to override State Law (so, actually, I'm viewing this more as a States' matter), I think SCOTUS should rule against the Baker.

    Given the broader ethical question and the tangible repercussions of it, I also think SCOTUS should rule against the Baker.

    But...given this specific case, taking into account my personal philosophy, this is an encroachment of individual freedom of association imposed by the State...I think SCOTUS should rule for the Baker.

    (did I just come down on both sides? I think I did...)
     
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  8. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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  9. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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  10. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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    Some like to boil this down to a simple matter of a person refusing to sell an item to an individual based on that individual's sexual orientation. And that is a mistake, because that is not what it's about.

    The baker has religious beliefs. The couple didn't ask the baker to simply sell them a cake - they asked him (in his view) to participate in a ceremony that contrasts his religious beliefs by consulting, designing, and creating an object that celebrates that ceremony.

    It's for that reason I don't believe SCOTUS will consider broader ethical questions and tangible repercussions and will rule in favor of the baker. Now, if the baker had refused to sell the couple any cake that he had created and was on display for sale because of their sexual orientation then I would certainly expect SCOTUS to rule against him. But that's not how this went down.

    In a sense this question has been asked and answered for Hobby Lobby. Government requires health insurance cover contraception. That went against the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby's founders. Hobby Lobby won. And yes, the beliefs of the individuals behind the business were considered - as will the baker's regardless of how the CO law is worded.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  11. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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  12. Sir_Cliff

    Sir_Cliff Well-Known Member

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  13. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    To your point, this is why the section of the oral arguments involving other occupations is so relevant.

    And, frankly, Kagan and Sotomayor blew holes in that logic, focusing on equal accommodation.

    How would you answer those concerns?
     
  14. Animaniac93-98

    Animaniac93-98 Well-Known Member

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    And that's why it looks bad to exclude sexual orientation from that list unlike it how it is in other countires. No person should ever be refused a job, service or housing on the grounds like they are gay. Period. As much as most businesses (including 90% of Fortune 500 companies) have self-policed policies preventing this from happening, and several states already do, there should be complete uniformity on this across the USA. Either the society respects minority populations, or religion is the scapegoat to avoid doing anything whenever people feel it is convenient to them.

    In the case of the bakery, a for profit business that does not exist to support a specific religion like a church, they should have found some employee to do the job they were paid to do. It looks ridiculous in this case because the service in question involved a cake (of all things), but it does illustrate how the US still has issues seperating church and state in the national discussion.
     
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  15. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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    Wasn't their focus on equal accommodation in regards to physical (ADA) handicap? Unless you meant public accommodation?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  16. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    I did mean public.

    <- not a lawyer

    With that clarified, how would you answer their points?

    Edited - hopefully you see it before a response

    Specifically...how would you address the "line" that Waggener had so much trouble clarifying...?

    When does a good or service, become speech? Because the artisan says so?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  17. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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    Well, to begin with - I'm not sure they are related :)

    The concept of public accommodation does include a private business that offers food to the general public and therefore requires that such entities cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

    So my first response would be the minor clarification that this private business goes beyond food and offers artistic creation. The couple was not just buying a wedding cake, they were asking to engage the business in the process of artistic design and creation.

    My second response would be that this couple does not qualify as a class protected by the general rule of public accommodation law. At least not at the federal level. One might argue that doesn't matter because Colorado passed a law making sexual orientation a protected class, but it hasn't been enforced consistently which is why it progressed to the federal supreme court level. And I would further add to this point by explaining that our baker wasn't discriminating against a protected class of any sort, he was refusing to participate in a process (the design of a cake featuring a gay wedding theme) since he offered other cakes to the couple.

    My third response (and probably most emphatic) would be that public accommodation does not trump religious protections. As cited earlier, the baker was asked to engage in a process for a ceremony which presents a clear conflict with his own religious views. And he can probably quote specific scripture to support his claim, unlike someone who might claim religious protection because something is against there religion because, well, it just is.

    Finally, we do have precedent on several fronts with the Hobby Lobby verdict which leapfrogs the separate entity of a "business" and protects the religious beliefs of the owners/founders/employees of the business.
     
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  18. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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    Just saw your edit but I faintly touched on that - I think it will be interpreted beyond question that what the baker refused to offer was not a cake but his participation in a process of design and creation of something that conflicts with his religious beliefs, as evidenced by his willingness to sell the couple any of the cakes he did make.

    Edit: The only analogy I can offer while I hurry off to something is this: If I'm an artist who paints portraits, but I don't paint nudes because it's against my religious beliefs, am I discriminating against a gay couple who wants me to paint their nude portrait and I refuse but offer to paint them clothed instead? Should the law force me to paint a nude portrait?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  19. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Why is everyone forgetting that we still have laws that protect religious beliefs in this country?

    No matter how some are trying to twist it, this is a face off of two “Rights”. It’s not just about one. The decision will be based on who’s Rights were being infringed or not infringed on.

    It has nothing to do with some ridiculous life or death medical scenario...Or with most of what is being said here.
     
  20. englanddg

    englanddg One Little Spark... Premium Member

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    They are making it through the argument of "compelled speech", pointing to Hurley.

    I am on my second readthrough of the oral arguments (been poking at them since this morning, out of curiousity), and I tell ya, the sticking point for me is "where is the line"? (and, mind you, I'm asking your opinion...for discussion, that's all ;P)

    To quote Kagan:

    JUSTICE KAGAN: But you have a -- you have a view that a cake can be speech because it involves great skill and artistry. And I guess I'm wondering, if that's the case, you know, how do you draw a line? How do you decide, oh, of course, the chef and the baker are on one side, and you said, think, the florist is on that side, the chef, the baker, the florist, versus the hairstylist or the makeup artist? I mean, where would you put a tailor, a tailor who makes a wonderful suit of clothes? Where does that come in?

    Sotomayor took the same angle, but focused more on harm created by scarcity of supply (using a remote military base, where there may only be one option)...she'll need that "harm" to justify her decision, so...pretty plain to see.

    Roberts seemed to be more curious about how it could been applied to other professions, and I could almost see the counsel squirming as he asked if this precedent could be applied to pro bono legal services (that...was pretty tasty)

    Gorsuch had a great point about the effects of the ordered remedy (mandatory training), and took issue with some of the members' feelings about Christianity who are on the State Commission.

    Alito was focused with how the State Commission had not equally applied the law in other cases (3 complaints they dismissed where a Christian with anti-gay marriage sentiments was declined by bakers, also in Colorado).

    Ginsburg was all over the place...I almost wondered if she even read up for this case...

    Kennedy and Breyer...didn't seem wholly convinced one way or the other.

    I guess, my point is...

    Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch seem to be focused on this case and this state.

    Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg, on the civil rights aspects.

    And Kennedy wasn't too happy about the "sign in the window" thing...

    What I didn't see is...where is the line? Both the Petitioner's never could define it outside of very vague terminology.

    Which, leaves me concern as to how the final ruling would be written without impacting other civil rights legislation?

    The insistence that "this is different than race" by the Petitioner's...I wasn't ever very happy with how they explained that.
     
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