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Supreme Court hears free speech, religious liberty case


Protestors outside the Supreme Court. Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

Supreme Court hears free speech, religious liberty case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday over whether a Christian artist in Colorado must design websites for same-sex marriages. Arguments ran well over the 70 minutes allotted for the discussion. Justice Sonia Sotomayor tried to draw parallels between same-sex marriages and interracial marriages, but Justice Samuel Alito questioned whether such comparisons were fair. The graphic artist, Lorie Smith, said she wants to expand her website design business to weddings. A Colorado law says she would have to serve everyone—including same-sex couples. Smith says the Colorado law infringes on her First Amendment right to free speech and religious freedom. The Supreme Court took up the question of free speech. 

Hasn’t the court heard a similar case? In 2018, a Colorado baker and owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, challenged the same law. Phillips said designing a cake for a same-sex couple infringed on his free speech rights. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips in that case, but the ruling was narrow. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner is representing both Phillips and Smith. 

Dig deeper: Read Kristen Waggoner’s column in WORLD Opinions on whether the court will rule in favor of Smith.


Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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