Lankford Celebrates Supreme Court Protecting Americans’ Free Speech
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK –SenatorJames Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement celebrating the Supreme Court decision in303 Creative LLC v. Eleniswhich affirms a Colorado business owner’s right to exercise her free speech:
“The Supreme Court once again affirmed that the government should never have the power to compel speech or threaten Americans with fines to force them to say things they disagree with. A diverse nation has diverse opinions that should be heard and respected. Compelling speech does not honor diversity. The Supreme Court firmly up held Americans’ First Amendment rights and ensured no one is forced to speak against their will or conscience.”
Lankford and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) led abicameral amicus brief for this case. The petitioner, Lorie Smith, runs the website design company 303 Creative and cannot provide custom services for same-sex weddings without violating her Christian faith. Under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA), however, she was compelled to not only provide these custom services, but she was also prevented from explaining her disagreement. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that the state can compel Ms. Smith’s creative speech—adecision that was wrong and was rightly reversed by the SupremeCourt.
This case is a follow-on to Masterpiece Cakeshop, for which Lankford also submitted an amicus brief and celebrated the victory for the case at the Supreme Court in 2018. The case involved the shop’s owner, Jack Phillips, who argued that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated his constitutional rights by acting with hostility to his religious faith.