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Not Too Courageous . . . Supreme Court Leaves Christian Florist Under Persecution By Leftists

July 15, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

The U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear the case of a persecuted Christian florist as its term ended reinforced the view that its 6-3 alleged new conservative majority doesn’t hold together on “socially cultural” conservative issues, although it may produce some other results that a “liberal” court would not.
Washington State florist Barronelle Stutzman had been under attack for around eight years because she declined to make a floral arrangement for a “same-sex wedding,” which violated her religious beliefs, although she willingly served homosexual customers along with everyone else for other requests.
Stutzman was singled out for persecution by left-wing activists and their Washington State legal system. Although the homosexual couple could have had their floral arrangement done by other shops, she intentionally was being punished. None of the famed “liberal tolerance” for her.
The Christian traditionalist Alliance Defending Freedom legal organization, which has represented her, said that Stutzman had referred one of the homosexuals to three other local florists that could help him.
Meanwhile, the High Court delivered two 6-3 opinions on its final day, reflecting the commonsense jurisprudence that conservatives had hoped for after President Donald Trump successfully nominated three reputed conservative scholars during his four-year White House term, Neil Gorsuch and Catholics Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
On July 1 — the day the most recent hardcopy issue of The Wanderer went to press — the Court upheld mild Arizona requirements for ballot security and rejected California law requiring that names of major donors to nonprofits be disclosed.
Democrats sued Arizona over the Grand Canyon State forbidding, with limited exceptions, unrelated third parties “harvesting” ballots then delivering them to voting stations, and also requiring that voters cast their ballots in their own precinct.
Ballot harvesting created a scandal in Arizona in 2014 after a video showed one activist who wore a left-wing group’s tee-shirt dropping off hundreds of completed ballots in a box at Maricopa County election headquarters, then reacting angrily when a Republican observer questioned what he was doing.
The state legislature passed a law against such harvesting, then saw the measure wind through legal challenges to the recent High Court ruling.
California’s donor-disclosure law was rejected when the Court accepted conservative arguments that the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of association was infringed “because the disclosure requirements created a ‘chilling effect’ on speech and ‘actual and potential’ donations,” Fox News reported.
The Arizona and California rulings shocked liberal observers who had been expressing pleasure at the Court’s recent behavior. Just two days earlier, on June 29, a writer at the ABC News website said that the term “of the most conservative Supreme Court in a generation was supposed to bring an eruption of pent-up ideological rage. Instead, it’s closing with astonishing bonhomie. . . .
“The nine justices have charted a surprising course down the middle in 2021, handing down more unanimous opinions than any time in at least the last seven years,” he added.
Presumably, in that writer’s eyes, “pent-up ideological rage” would have meant additional conservative decisions. Still, as with the Stutzman case, the majority of justices seemed to fear rattling leftists’ cages very much.
A reader’s rueful feedback at one conservative website — and probably at others — said it would take a Supreme Court of nine Republican-appointed justices in order to obtain a 5-4 conservative majority ruling.
Some observers speculated that Chief Justice John Roberts was guiding rulings in a way to defuse angry Democrats’ threats to expand the High Court with additional justices.
The left-wingers who shrieked last year that Barrett, if confirmed by the Senate, would bring a right-wing reign of terror to the nation’s legal system were left looking in vain for any contrails from Barrett’s broomstick as she supposedly would swoop through the skies raining down radical conservatism.
Last week’s hardcopy Wanderer dated for July 8 carried a page one article on High Court cowardice that closed by quoting commentator Josh Hammer in a New York Post column about the shortcoming of “nominating and promoting libertarian-leaning jurists who are passionate about reining in the administrative state but reluctant to defiantly wade into dreaded ‘cultural issues’.”
That Wanderer article (“Even Trump justices cower — High Court fears partying elite more than hardworking Main St.”) noted that the Court stood passively by in June while allowing a lower court illicitly to expand Gorsuch’s Bostock opinion in 2020 that extended sex-discrimination protection to homosexuals and transsexuals — even though the Congress that passed the Civil Rights Act Title VII intended nothing of the sort.
However, Judge Henry F. Floyd went even further and held that female Gavin Grimm should be allowed to use male public lavatories because that is her preference.
An article posted July 1 at The American Conservative site said: “The supposedly most right-leaning court in recent memory, with a 6-3 conservative supermajority, has failed to deliver the decisive rulings that Republicans had hoped for and Democrats had feared. Earlier this month (June), the court ruled in California v. Texas that a coalition of GOP states lacked the standing to challenge critical parts of Obamacare.”
Referring to the Court’s failure to take up Barronelle Stutzman’s case, national conservative commentator Quin Hillyer told The Wanderer on July 5: “Once again, the Supreme Court punts away a case that desperately cried out to be heard. For the Court to deny certiorari is a shame, a travesty, and a dereliction of responsibility. Ms. Stutzman deserves much better.”
Conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on July 5 that he didn’t see why Roberts, Kavanaugh, or Barrett wouldn’t agree to hear her case. And, unless there’s some subtle distinction involved here, he said, “The Court is again proceeding with little courage where most of America would like to see more.”
Princeton University Catholic professor Robert George posted at Facebook on July 3: “I am stunned — and appalled — that the Supreme Court did not grant certiorari in Barronelle Stutzman’s case. Given the issues left unresolved in the Masterpiece Cakeshop and Fulton decisions, it is irresponsible of the justices not to provide guidance (including guidance to lower courts) on what will and will not be treated as legally permissible.
“Moreover, in my opinion this leaves a gross violation of Barronelle Stutzman’s rights unrectified,” George said. “The Court did not rule against her claim on its merits; rather, it declined to consider the merits — leaving in place the (improper, in my view) ruling of the court below, and continuing to leave important legal questions unresolved.
“Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch deserve credit for dissenting from the decision not to grant certiorari. So my criticisms are not directed to them,” he said.
“I would not have expected Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, or Kagan to do the right thing in this case (though there was a time when liberals believed in conscience rights — those were the days). But what about Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett? This should not have been a hard decision for them. Stutzman deserved to have her claims reviewed on the merits. If they were to be denied, she — and we — deserve an account of why,” George said.

Confident Of Victory

Chronicling the financial devastation that Stutzman could face for upholding her Christian beliefs, the Alliance Defending Freedom said in a July 2 statement that Washington State’s attorney general, “using unprecedented measures, . . . not only went after Barronelle’s business, but also sued her in her personal capacity. Later, the ACLU also joined in, filing a separate lawsuit on behalf of (homosexual) Rob (Ingersoll) and his partner.
“Now, Barronelle may lose her business and her life’s savings. The life she and her husband worked so hard to build could be forever changed,” the ADF statement said.
It recalled that “after roughly eight years of standing for her freedom, two trips to the Washington Supreme Court, and two petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court, the High Court announced today that it won’t hear her case.
“This is devastating news. Barronelle had hoped that the Supreme Court would deliver justice and protect her freedom — and yours. Now, her future remains uncertain,” ADF said.
ADF general counsel Kristen Waggoner said: “Thankfully, other courts have recognized that the Constitution does not allow this. Unlike the Washington Supreme Court in Barronelle’s case, the Arizona Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit have ruled that the government cannot force creative professionals to create artistic expression that violates their religious beliefs.
“We are confident that the Supreme Court will eventually join those courts in affirming the constitutionally protected freedom of creative professionals to live and work consistently with their most deeply held beliefs,” Waggoner said.
A July 3 story posted at the New York Post said: “In recent years, the Supreme Court has issued narrow decisions in similar cases while sidestepping the broader question of whether business owners and private organizations have the absolute right to refuse service to same-sex couples on the basis of their religious beliefs.”

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