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Trump Admin: Businesses Should Be Able To Legally Discriminate

Steve Silberman / Twitter
Trump's solicitor general argued that businesses should be allowed to convey their discrimination via window signs.

The case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission has landed before the Supreme Court, and in arguments Tuesday, President Trump's solicitor general said businesses should be able to hang signs in their windows proclaiming that gays are not welcome.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will likely be the swing vote in the case, asked the U.S. solicitor general, Noel Francisco, if Phillips could put a sign in his window saying, “We don’t bake cakes for gay weddings.”

Francisco said yes, because the First Amendment protects the baker's freedom of speech in artistic expression. The ACLU strongly disagreed.

“The question, rather, is whether the Constitution grants businesses open to the public the right to violate laws against discrimination in the commercial marketplace if the business happens to sell an artistic product,” the ACLU said, noting that the answer is simply no.

A final ruling in the case could be weeks or months away, but Justice Kennedy may have hinted at the direction he currently leans:

He said that while “tolerance is essential” in society, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is being “neither tolerant nor respectful of Phillips’s religious beliefs.”

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