Nadler, Scanlon Issue Joint Statement on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Supreme Court Decision
Washington, June 30, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court issued its decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, effectively gutting state anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. In this case, the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority sided with a website designer who argued that the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause allowed her to refuse to serve LGBTQ customers seeking her wedding website design services, notwithstanding a Colorado law that prohibits businesses that serve the public from discriminating against persons based on their disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.
In response, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Constitution Subcommittee Ranking Member Mary Gay Scanlon released the following statement:
“Today’s egregious Supreme Court decision weaponizes the First Amendment against the LGBTQ community. Until today, the Court had never recognized a constitutional right for a business open to the public to refuse to serve members of a protected class. The Court’s current, radical right-wing majority took the unprecedented step of interpreting the Constitution to permit business owners who offer their services to the general public to deny those services to some customers based on the customers’ otherwise legally protected characteristics, like race, sex, and national origin.
“This decision is a gut punch to the LGBTQ community that singles them out as second-class citizens under the law. The decision will only make it harder for people to navigate their everyday lives and subject LGBTQ persons to the constant threat of discrimination and humiliation simply because they sought to patronize a business, just like everyone else.
“For those who may think that today’s decision does not affect them – think again. This decision not only erodes the rights of LGBTQ Americans, but sets a dangerous precedent for undermining the rights of all Americans to be free from discrimination based on otherwise legally protected characteristics. It is yet another example of the determination of the Court’s extreme right-wing majority to roll back the personal freedom and individual liberties that most Americans have rightly demanded and long embraced. We have no doubt that history will ultimately judge 303 Creative to be among the Supreme Court’s most notorious and wrongly decided cases, joining the ignominious likes of Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.”