The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has delivered another landmark victory this week fresh on the heels of their ruling to overturn affirmative action admissions processes in American colleges.
On Friday, the court ruled in a 6-3 vote that the government of Colorado can’t force website designer Lorie Smith to design or create artwork that violates her religious beliefs in 303 Creative et al v. Elenis et al.
According to The Daily Signal, Smith was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, and had previously made the argument to SCOTUS that Colorado’s progressive “anti-discrimination” laws would have forced her to design same-sex wedding websites.
Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion of the court, in which he explained “the Nation’s answer is tolerance, not coercion.”
He further wrote, “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands. Colorado cannot deny that promise consistent with the First Amendment.”
Gorsuch additionally pointed out that First Amendment rights “apply to all, not just to speakers whose motives the government finds worthy.” He also said that freedom of speech meant that “all will encounter ideas that are ‘misguided or even hurtful,’” based on precedent set in previous cases.
This is the third landmark case that has reestablished a baseline for Constitutional protections in America since President Trump appointed three conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his first term in office.
In June 2022, the court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, and just this week, the court further ruled that race-based college admissions were unconstitutional. Friday’s decision to cement First Amendment rights in America represented a huge win for proponents of free speech and freedom of religion.
According to The Daily Signal’s report, Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson dissented with their conservative peers.