A Supreme Court Ruling Good for Jews and Muslims

July 28, 2023

Ismail Royer, RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Director, and Howard Slugh, General Counsel of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, authored a piece published in Newsday on the benefits of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in 303 Creative v. Elenis for Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities. They write:

The Supreme Court reaffirmed that the First Amendment prevents the government from compelling citizens to speak messages that violate their consciences. While some in the press have framed this case as granting Christians special preferences, it’s clear that Jews and Muslims who hold similar views will benefit.

The 303 Creative case involved a web designer, Lorie Smith, who argued that the First Amendment prevented Colorado from forcing her to create web pages celebrating same-sex marriages. 

All parties agreed that Smith would not create web pages that expressed a message with which she disagreed. They agreed that Smith would serve all customers regardless of sexual orientation, so long as they did not request her to express a message she considered objectionable. Colorado also admitted that the web pages Smith created would express her personal views on marriage, and that a visitor to her web pages would understand that they represented her original artwork. 

Given these facts, it should be no surprise that religious minorities would celebrate the court’s reaffirmation that the First Amendment prohibits such trespasses by the government. Orthodox members of minority faiths like Judaism and Islam tend to hold views that run counter to the prevailing ethos, especially concerning fundamental issues like sex and gender. These believers are all too aware that their views would be ripe targets for elimination if a regime like Colorado’s had been allowed to stand.

Read the full article: “A Supreme Court Ruling Good for Jews and Muslims.”

Read also their prior article on this case: “Supreme Court must reject government attempts to compel speech.”