The Narrow Victory

There is an obvious flaw, however, with one of the asserted justifications for Colorado’s law. According to the individual respondents, Colorado can compel Phillips’ speech to prevent him from ‘denigrating the dignity’ of same-sex couples, ‘asserting their inferiority,’ and subjecting them to ‘humiliation, frustration, and embarrassment.’ These justifications are completely foreign to our free-speech jurisprudence. States cannot punish protected speech because some group finds it offensive, hurtful, stigmatic, unreasonable, or undignified. If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. A contrary rule would allow the government to stamp out virtually any speech at will.

“In ‘Obergefell,’ I warned that the Court’s decision would inevitably come into conflict with religious liberty, as individuals are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples. This case proves that the conflict has already emerged. Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day. But, in future cases, the freedom of speech could be essential to preventing ‘Obergefell’ from being used to stamp out every vestige of dissent and vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. If that freedom is to maintain its vitality, reasoning like the Colorado Court of Appeals’ must be rejected.”

{Clarence Thomas}

Thomas doesn’t go far enough, of course.  What the law should protect

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Celebrating Labor Day? Don’t

President Cleveland created Labor Day on June 28, 1894 in an attempt to quell a strike by 150,000 railroad workers that had crippled the country’s economy.  The striking laborers refused to go back to work and eventually clashed with federal troops. Their leader, Eugene Debs, was sent to prison, where he eventually became a Marxist.

The common ideology of the unions and the socialists made for a profitable long-term alliance.  Each sought to overthrow the existing order, each proclaimed an entitlement to the property of others, and each was quick to resort to violence when lawful means were unproductive.  Within two years of the institution of Labor Day, a quarter of a million workers in Chicago walked off their jobs, demanding a shorter work week (but the same pay).  As so many strikes do, this one resulted in violence when police attempting to disperse the crowd at the Haymarket Square were attacked with a dynamite bomb.  Seven police officers were killed.  They would be the first victims of the new century of union, socialist violence.

The unions have long cultivated the myth that their reason for existence is the promotion of workers’ rights, but from their earliest days the opposite has been true.  Shortly after the Civil War, as black Americans flooded northern industrial areas in search of jobs, labor unions such as The Brotherhood of Railroad Firemen and Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen prohibited the admission of black members.  They also banned Catholics.  Consequently, the railroads employed almost exclusively white … Read the rest