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Sunday, July 2, 2023

Misinformation and the 303 Creative Case

Last week, SCOTUS ruled 6-3 in favor of a web designer, finding that a Colorado law that includes protections for sexual orientation, would unconstitutionally compel her to create speech that violates her religious convictions. Caroline Downey continues at NRO:
The New Republic reported this week that two men named in a court filing by Smith’s counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom had no idea they were mentioned in the filing and had never asked Smith to create a website for them.

But according to the filing, someone who identified themselves as “Stewart” contacted Smith on September 21, 2016 asking for her help with his wedding to “Mike” “early next year.” The inquiry said the couple would be interested in “some design work done for our invites,” place names, and potentially a website. Stewart included his contact information on the request.

Smith received Stewart’s inquiry in September 2016, one day after filing a preemptive lawsuit challenging the accommodation clause of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. ADF attorney Jonathan Scruggs corroborated the timeline to National Review.

Smith and ADF were prevented from running a background check on Stewart to verify the authenticity of his request because it could have put them in conflict with the existing law, he added.


No request was necessary to establish a credible threat to Smith, however. Colorado had been particularly “aggressive” with its enforcement of the public accommodations law in the past, Waggoner said and Gorsuch agreed. The state’s record of anti-free speech intimidation prompted Smith to fire the first shot...“That’s why the Supreme Court never mentioned or relied on the request, neither did the Tenth Circuit, neither have numerous courts all across the country that have heard similar challenges without requests,” Scruggs said. “It’s kind of a nothing burger and smacks of desperation.