World I will tell Supreme Court speech must be kept free, that you don’t lose your rights when you start work
The four possible outcomes from today's Supreme Court ruling on Scotland's Indyref2
The intense discussion over Scotland's future is reaching another, major milestone. © Other Politicians on both sides of Scotland's independence debate are waiting with bated breath for the judgment from the Supreme Court on whether the Scottish parliament has the power to legislate for a second referendum without the approval of Westminster. © Other Rishi Sunak and Nicola Sturgeon Follow updates in the Politics HubFive judges - who have spent the last month examining 8,000 pages of legal arguments - are set to deliver their determination at 9.45am today.
From political primaries to school playgrounds, Americans know a debate when they hear one. As experience teaches us, winning arguments have a claim, persuasive reasoning and supporting evidence. Arguing without all three is like riding a tricycle with no front wheel. You can try it; you just won’t get far.
On Dec. 5, I will argue 303of the United States. Here’s the debate: Can the government apply a law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent? Our claim, reasoning and evidence say no.
The case involves Lorie Smith, a graphic artist and website designer in Colorado. Lorie loves to design custom, unique websites for her clients, including those who identify as LGBT. But there are some designs she cannot create regardless of who asks.
Fourteen people are accused of murdering Elizabeth Struhs. Here's what we know about the case against them
The gripping case of a little girl who died and the 14 members of a religious group charged with her murder.But her cheeky smile is hard to reconcile with the harrowing evidence presented in a Queensland regional court over the past two months, as one after another, 14 people were committed to stand trial for her murder.
Each of Lorie’s websites incorporates traditional storytelling and artistic elements. She pens words like an author, mocks up webpage storyboards like a film producer, and considers color, contrast, and balance like a painter. Lorie’s websites are her books; webpages are her chapters. Pixels are her paints; the website is her canvas. Lorie chooses each word, color hue, icon and more to express unique messages that celebrate causes she’s passionate about, including God’s design for marriage.
But a Colorado law requires her to create and publish custom websites promoting messages inconsistent with her beliefs.
The government cannot dictate what we say and don’t say. In Lorie’s case, the free-speech threat is especially severe. Colorado seeks the authority to commandeer Lorie’s virtual stories — her websites — and redeploy them to promote Colorado’s view of marriage. That compels Lorie into betraying her sincerest beliefs, destroys her autonomy and changes her message. That’s unconstitutional.
COVID fines worth millions are withdrawn
Fines worth millions of dollars issued for breaching COVID-19 restrictions will be scrapped, following a landmark decision by the NSW Supreme Court.NSW Revenue says 33,121 fines will be scrapped following a landmark decision in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that found details of the offences were insufficient.
Consider some reasoning. No one thinks the government can direct a writer’s words, a painter’s palette, or a cartoonist’s characters. But that’s the equivalent of Colorado’s attempt to co-opt Lorie’s custom artwork.
Regardless of whether you agree with Lorie’s beliefs about marriage, the outcome here will have a far-reaching effect.then another government could require an LGBT artist to create a website criticizing same-sex marriage. Or another could force a Jewish designer to create a poster celebrating Easter. In that sense, a win for Lorie ensures we’re all free to speak without fear of government punishment.
Then there’s the undisputed evidence. Colorado stipulated — meaning formally conceded in court — that each of Lorie’s custom websites are "original" and "expressive." And Colorado stipulated that Lorie is "willing to work with all people" and "gladly" serves all clients, regardless of sexual orientation. Combine this evidence, and Lorie is like most artists. She serves everyone while lending her heart, mind and artistic hand to those projects that promote messages consistent with her values.
Michelle Williams baffles fans with Mary Beth Peil tribute
Michelle Williams sparked concern Mary Beth Peil had died when she gave an emotional speech in tribute to the actress at the Gotham Awards in NYC on Monday. Michelle, 42, who played Jen Lindley in the show from 1998-2003 alongside 82-year-old Peil as Evelyn 'Grams' Ryan, baffled fans with her speech, with many convinced Peil - who is alive and well - had passed away.
Colorado and others ignore this reasoning and evidence to make other claims. Like that two-wheeled tricycle, those claims don’t get far.
For example, Colorado claims that its law just regulates sales. But Colorado turns a blind eye to the admitted facts. Lorie isn’t selling hamburgers or cups of coffee. Colorado agreed that Lorie’s websites are custom expression conveying unique messages, so applying the law here regulates her speech.
The claim rests on faulty reasoning too. Under Colorado’s theory, the First Amendment acts like a vacation time clock: It starts when we punch out of work and stops when we punch back in. In reality, the First Amendment never goes on vacation — we don’t leave it at home when we go to work. Recognizing the danger of Colorado’s theory, artists of all stripes — like a world-famous graphic designer, a tattoo artist, and movie producers — support Lorie’s case even if they disagree with her particular views on marriage.
Colorado and others also disingenuously claim that protecting Lorie would take us back to ugly times in our nation’s history where people were denied access to essential goods and services based on who they were. That claim is false. Such conduct — rejecting an entire class of people — is both despicable and illegal. A win for Lorie would never permit this. And our firm — Alliance Defending Freedom — would oppose any such effort. This fearmongering has nothing to do with this case and Lorie’s custom expression that Colorado seeks to compel.
Let’s not forget, Colorado already agreed that Lorie chooses her projects based on the what and not the who — what "message" she’s being requested to create, not who makes the request. An LGBT website designer shouldn’t be faulted for promoting her views about same-sex marriage. Neither should Lorie be censored from designing consistent with her beliefs about marriage.
What happens when a dictator’s ‘red line’ meets the people’s ‘red line’ .
In Iran and China, regime concessions appear to have worked, but the people have found their voices and felt their power. Have the protests ended, or merely paused? One thing is certain. As Winston Churchill said, dictators ride tigers they dare not dismount. Holding onto power, living in fear of their people, is the only thing the dictators will be able to think about.The Opinion newsletter is a weekly wrap of views that will challenge, champion and inform your own. Sign up here.