The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday announced it would not take up the case of Arlene’s Flowers, a Washington state florists owned by Barronelle Stutzman, who in 2013 refused a same-sex couple’s wedding request. The case was a darling of the religious right, the far right, and her hate group attorneys, who falsely parroted the claim that because Stutzman was following her religious beliefs, the elderly florist may lose her business, her home, and her savings. It was a line repeated by many on the right. And it’s false.
“Barronelle Stutzman is now going to lose her business, her life savings, and possibly her own home for putting her faith into practice,” then-Fox News pundit Erick Erickson claimed, incorrectly, in 2015.
The State of Washington at one point tried to settle with Stutzman for $2000 but she refused, and with her activist Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, went to trial. A Washington judge found Stutzman violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and fined her $1000, $1 in legal costs, and enjoined her from further acts of discrimination.
Stutzman could have stopped pursuing legal channels, and agreed to follow the laws of the state her business operates in, but she refused. She could have settled for $1000, or $2000, but she refused.
She lost at every turn.
Her attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups, fundraised off her case for years.
Now, it’s finally over – although Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch declared they would have taken up the case.
That the Supreme Court refused to hear this case reinforces that its ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case – the Colorado Baker, Jack Phillips, who “won” at the Supreme Court in an extremely narrow ruling – was not about the Court opposing the rights of LGBTQ people, it was what it said it was: the Supreme Court believed Phillips’ case was handled with animus against his religious rights by Colorado authorities.
Legal experts are weighing in on what some are calling a victory today. Some are optimistic, but the first take here is likely the correct one: the Supreme Court is not finished with the construct of LGBTQ rights vs. religious extremism.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern and Vox’s Ian Millhiser agree: right wing activists on the Supreme Court are being very selective about the LGBTQ rights case they want to take up, presumably so they can craft the anti-LGBTQ ruling in a manner they prefer.
If you’re wondering why SCOTUS did not take up Arlene’s Flowers and grant businesses a sweeping First Amendment right to discriminate against LGBTQ people, I think this is a good theory. ADF’s lawyers are really terrible. Becket’s are excellent. https://t.co/Hauz5MsLTW
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 2, 2021
Lambda Legal’s Legal Director and Chief Strategy Officer:
The denial of cert (at long last) in Arlene’s Flowers is welcome news indeed. Remember that case was sent back for further review after Masterpiece Cakeshop. WA SCT gave this case another careful examination & reached same conclusion. Now it’s finally over. Yay. https://t.co/X2a8yqy8MC
— Sharon_McGowan (@SharonMcGowanDC) July 2, 2021
Supreme Court correspondent for The Economist:
This is surprising because (1) 6 members of the Court have shown substantial deference to claims for religious exemptions; (2) it takes only 4 votes to hear a case; & (3) justices commonly give a courtesy 4th vote when 3 want to hear it. No “J-4” from Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett. https://t.co/1jfa4Og5js
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) July 2, 2021
Director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project:
Hopeful signs: SCOTUS not only refused to create a constitutional license to discriminate in Fulton v. Philadelphia, but this morning it denied review in Arlene’s Flowers, where WA S.Ct. had said there is no such right.
The result: businesses need to remain open to all!
— James Esseks (@JamesEsseks) July 2, 2021
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Trumpist Terrorism Is Becoming Normalized: Signorile
In the past three weeks we learned of two violent domestic terror plots by Trump supporters to overthrow the government
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.
A very particular, cultish and dangerous brand of domestic terrorism has been honed, and we should call it what it is: Trumpist terrorism.
We’ve rarely if ever experienced domestic terrorism organized not only in the service an ideology — white supremacy — but in the name of one person, a cult figure for whom people will kill and die, devoted to his cause and taking perceived orders from him.
But that is what is happening now.
Last week the news broke that two California men were arrested for plotting to bomb Sacramento’s Democratic headquarters in the name of Donald Trump, inspired by the Big Lie that the election was stolen by Joe Biden. One of the men is alleged to have had five live pipe bombs in his home and “between 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
That man, Ian Rogers, also wrote in text messages, before the January 20th inauguration of President Biden, which one agent said showed an attempt to try to stop the inauguration from proceeding:
I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn’t I will…
…I want to blow up a Democrat building bad…
…Sad it’s come to this but I’m not going down without a fight…
…These commies need to be told what’s up…
The men were organizing both before and after the January 6th Capitol assault, and discussed other targets including California’s governors mansion, the corporate offices of Facebook and Twitter and Democratic donor George Soros.
In a different time this would be wall to wall media coverage, with strong condemnations coming from the former president himself, and from the leaders of his party. But for much of the media, though they covered it, this was just another story in the blur of insurrection-related stories — including the story of a Virginia insurrectionist group exposed the week before, planning for a “revolution”and led by a man who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and now had the components for 50 homemade bombs.
Needless to say, there was no condemnation statement by the former president — who likely revels in these stories — nor from any Republican Party leader. Even Democratic leaders seemed too busy dealing with all the other assaults on democracy by Republicans to speak out forcefully about these cases.
Trumpist terrorism is becoming normalized.
It’s now expected that people will engage in violence in the name of a former president of the United States. That’s a blood-curdling reality, but in America right now it’s not very shocking, nor surprising. And the greater danger is that if the outcry isn’t loud enough — if we don’t express outrage no matter how commonplace it now may appear — then it will not only be expected; it will be accepted. More and more extremists will be inspired to take up arms, to organize plots to cause massive violence in the name of Trump, hoping for bigger, more disruptive events to break through.
Read the entire article and subscribe at The Signorile Report.
Accused White Supremacist Tucker Carlson: ‘I’ve Never Met a White Supremacist in My Entire Life’
When he’s not promoting anti-vaccine disinformation and fear-mongering about the life-saving coronavirus shot Fox News’ premier personality Tucker Carlson is often promoting white supremacist rhetoric, according to numerous sources, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which called for his firing back in April.
Racists never think they’re racist, as the saying goes, so it should surprise no one that Fox News’ resident white nationalist (as some say,) or white supremacist, (as others say,) actually told TIME magazine’s Charlotte Alter in a just-published interview, “I’ve never met a white supremacist in my entire life.”
TIME’s Alter says Carlson “may be the most powerful conservative in America.”
Which has allowed him to get away with this:
“Carlson has referenced the white-supremacist ‘replacement’ conspiracy theory—which claims elites are planning to replace white Christian voters with nonwhite immigrants—by name on his show, making him a hero to many white nationalists,” she reports. “He suggested that American ‘antiwhite mania’ could lead to a situation comparable to the Rwandan genocide. He repeatedly argued—contrary to official findings—that George Floyd died of a drug overdose, then questioned Derek Chauvin’s conviction for Floyd’s murder.”
Of course, there’s more.
“After he name-checked the ‘replacement’ conspiracy theory on his show, the anti-immigration website VDare called it ‘one of the best things Fox News has ever aired,'” TIME says. (It’s important to note that, although TIME does not mention it, the Southern Poverty Law Center lists VDare as a white nationalist hate group.) “Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, has called Carlson ‘literally our greatest ally.'”
Alter writes, “I asked Carlson if it bothered him that white supremacists seemed to love him so much.” That’s when de declared, “I’ve never met a white supremacist in my entire life.”
“According to Joe Biden they’re everywhere,” Carlson “joked.” “Maybe I’m surrounded by them and don’t know about it.”
On social media Alter adds:
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) July 15, 2021
TIME’s Vera Bergengruen adds:
Tucker Carlson has also skyrocketed in popularity among young white nationalists. “This week Tucker redpilled 4 million people and there is nothing liberals can do about it” Nick Fuentes tweeted about a segment where Carlson referenced the white supremacist “replacement” theory— pic.twitter.com/xQsRHgqAcY
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) July 15, 2021
Tucker Carlson may claim to not know any white supremacists, and who knows, maybe that’s true, but these headlines offer a bit of a different take:
The issue isn’t really whether or not Tucker Carlson knows any white supremacists, the issue is why does the country’s most-watched cable news channel allow a person credibly accused of being one to be the face of their network?
Republicans Increasingly Are Attacking People Trying to Stop the Pandemic by Invoking the Holocaust or Calling Them ‘Nazis’
Republicans seem to keep calling people who are trying to end the deadly coronavirus pandemic by getting vaccinated, vaccinating others, wearing a mask, or enforcing requirements to do so “Nazis.”
Many are commenting just how disturbing it is to hear Hitler, Holocaust, and Nazi references in our every day consumption of news, and many are wondering why there’s an explosion of offensive Nazi-linked rhetoric from the right.
For some, especially perhaps those who lost family members or know of people slaughtered by Hitler in the Holocaust, it can be exceptionally painful to hear an elected official or TV personality on a conservative cable network comparing Americans refusing to get vaccinated to Jews, or co-opting and wearing the Star of David – which Hitler forced Jews to wear before murdering them.
Dear Lauren Boebert & Marjorie Taylor Greene…
The folks helping save lives with the vaccine AREN’T “Nazis.”
Nazis put yellow stars on my family.
Nazis boarded them on train cars.
Nazis put them in gas chambers.
Nazis incinerated their bodies.
STOP trivializing the Holocaust.
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) July 8, 2021
Hi, Jew here. Please stop comparing vaccination campaigns to Nazis. Please stop comparing the IDF to Nazis. Please stop comparing anything you dislike even mildly to the damn Nazis.
— Tamar Beeri (@TamarBeeri) July 8, 2021
It’s disturbing to hear terms like “Needle Nazis,” “Nazis of the air,” or hear that Speaker Pelosi’s policy on mask wearing in the halls of Congress is “exactly” like what Jews endured during the Holocaust.
Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County.
The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don’t need coercion by federal agents.
Did I wake up in Communist China? pic.twitter.com/gKXzogwM2C
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) July 8, 2021
STOP. WITH. THE. NAZI. COMPARISONS. https://t.co/SR5Q3nxD9M
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) July 8, 2021
On Tuesday Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) viciously attacked President Joe Biden after he mentioned the possibility of sending federal workers door-to-door to share information on the vaccine with people who may not have been vaccinated, in areas of low vaccination rates.
“People have a choice,” Greene declared, “they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”
Brownshirts were Hitler’s Nazi stormtroopers who helped in his rise to power, and the Nazis infamously conducted horrific human experiments on unwilling victims of their war crimes.
Greene just 22 days earlier had apologized for her attack on Speaker Pelosi. And yes, Greene is the one who claimed the policy of requiring a face mask be worn in Congress – specifically because Republicans refuse to get vaccinated – was “exactly” like the Holocaust.
While Greene’s apology lasted just a few short weeks, she never has apologized for comparing the Democratic Party to Hitler’s Party.
Many seem to have already forgotten that before her attack on the Speaker of the House, Greene invoked “Nazis” and made another disturbing comparison to the Star of David and vaccine passports, which do not exist.
Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.
Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.https://t.co/6X6VNolcA7
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) May 25, 2021
Let’s not forget Washington state Republican Rep. Jim Walsh, who last week declared on Facebook “we’re all Jews” to defend his wearing of a gold Star of David. He claimed it was to protest vaccine mandates. There are no vaccine mandates in Washington.
There of course was the hat store owner who thought it was a good idea to sell wearable gold colored Stars of David imprinted with the words “not vaccinated,” because she apparently thought selfishly choosing to not protect yourself and others from contracting a deadly virus that continues to mutate and become more contagious and more deadly is like being a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. (Her political affiliation is unknown, but her Instagram page makes clear she’s no fan of President Biden.)
It’s of course not just pandemic related.
According to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, then-President Donald Trump praised Hitler, stunning White House chief of staff John Kelly.
Late last month a U.S. Congressman, Republican Rep. Scott Perry, compared Democrats to Nazis.
“They are not the loyal opposition,” he said of Democrats. “They are the opposition to everything you love and believe in.”
“Go fight them,” he added. Vice reported on Perry’s “extended tirade that argued Democrats are disloyal, unpatriotic, dangerous traitors to America—and twice invoked Nazis to make his point.”
The Hitler references started early this year, when one Republican lawmaker was caught praising the fascist Nazi dictator.
Republican Illinois Congresswoman Mary Miller told attendees at the Save the Republic Rally that “Hitler was right.”
She was wrong, and the Hitler, Nazi, and Holocaust references need to stop.
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