Minnesota Democrats are lashing out at U.S. Supreme Court justices, some of whom have been the target of assassination plots, following a string of conservative victories at the high court.
In just a matter of days, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the practice of affirmative action in college admissions, canceled President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, and upheld the First Amendment rights of a Colorado graphic designer who does not want to create websites that violate her beliefs, including sites promoting same-sex marriages.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement calling the Supreme Court “illegitimate” and “corrupt.”
“But the illegitimacy of their actions makes more sense once you understand the depth of their corruption. Three of the rightwing justices were appointed by a twice-impeached president who lost the popular vote twice and led an insurrection when he lost the electoral vote. Two others were appointed by another president who lost the popular vote. Two have been credibly accused of sexual assault,” she said.
“Two have taken obscene private gifts — including private jet rides — from their billionaire backers with business before the court. One, Clarence Thomas, even accepted private tuition for a child he was raising from his billionaire backer — especially ironic given his ruling today. Together, the rightwing justices reek of corruption,” she added.
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith reiterated her call for expanding the court.
“People don’t have to live under constant fear of the Supreme Court. We can’t sit on our hands while these justices carry out the bidding of right wing organizations,” she claimed.
The Minnesota Queer Caucus accused the court of siding with “hate groups” and reducing “our community to second-class citizenship,” falsely claiming the Colorado ruling “granted a business a constitutional right to refuse service to members of a protected class.”
The plaintiff in the case, graphic designer Lorie Smith of 303 Creative, does not take issue with providing services to anyone of any protected class, which is stated in the third paragraph of the ruling. Rather, she will not produce content that contradicts her beliefs, “regardless of who orders it,” the court’s opinion explains.
“Under Colorado’s logic, the government may compel anyone who speaks for pay on a given topic to accept all commissions on that same topic — no matter the message — if the topic somehow implicates a customer’s statutorily protected trait,” Justice Neil Gorsuch writes in the majority opinion.
“Taken seriously, that principle would allow the government to force all manner of artists, speechwriters, and others whose services involve speech to speak what they do not believe on pain of penalty. The Court’s precedents recognize the First Amendment tolerates none of that,” he says.
Nonetheless, the Queer Caucus described the ruling as “the latest tidal wave in an orchestrated backlash, designed to erase our community.”
Others called the Supreme Court’s decisions this week “appalling,” “terrifying,” and “heartbreaking.”
The U.S. Supreme Court issued an appalling, terrifying & discriminatory ruling today on LGBTQIA+ rights (6-3). Their interpretation allows for a gateway to the refusal to serve same-sex couples based on first speech rights & allows some businesses the license to discriminate. 1/
— Jason Chavez – Minneapolis Ward 9 (@MplsWard9) June 30, 2023
Can’t stop thinking about how, in the 303 Creative ruling, the Court declared it legal for companies to post a sign that a they actively discriminate against queer people. What a devastating thing to encounter that will be. For all of us. Just, fuck.
Stay safe. Keep Fighting.
— Leigh Finke (@leighfinke) June 30, 2023
Gov. Tim Walz and his state agencies expressed disagreement with the court’s decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis, which “rightly reaffirmed that the government can’t force Americans to say things they don’t believe,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Smith in the case.
In Minnesota, we value, celebrate, and protect the rights of our LGBTQ+ communities. The nationwide attack on the lives and liberties of our LGBTQ+ neighbors is unacceptable.
We'll continue to support fundamental rights for all, because discrimination has no place in this state.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) June 30, 2023
“In Minnesota, we value, celebrate, and protect the rights of our LGBTQ+ communities. The nationwide attack on the lives and liberties of our LGBTQ+ neighbors is unacceptable,” Walz said. “We’ll continue to support fundamental rights for all, because discrimination has no place in this state.”