Tuesday, June 5, 2018

That weird feeling when I agree with Robert P. George

Robert P. George
Robert P. George, one of our more notable antagonists, has an opinion piece in the New York Times titled: Colorado Made the Masterpiece Case Easy for the Court. He is correct. Rather than ruling in a way that would resolve the conflict between the competing rights of religious conservatives and gay citizens seeking freedom from discrimination, the Court was able to punt. The justices (seven of the nine) were able to seize on statements by the commission that suggested their animus towards religion and escape having to do their job.

George goes on to write:
So what does the decision mean? Has the court discovered a constitutional right of business owners and service providers to discriminate on religious grounds against homosexuals or people in same-sex relationships? No. Not a single member of the court drew any such conclusion. Nor did it resolve the bigger question that this case raised: What does the Constitution require when such prohibitions on discrimination conflict with business owners’ religiously informed dictates of conscience?
Of course Dr. George would have preferred a different outcome than I. He wanted a ruling that would have aligned with religious supremacy while I wanted a ruling in favor of nondiscrimination and civil rights. However, we agree on what actually happened.

Local nondiscrimination laws remain enforceable providing that the ruling body is religiously neutral.

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