Freedom of Speech

The Constitutional Right to Conscript a Wedding Photographer

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Elaine Huguenin, a New Mexico photographer, wants the Supreme Court to hear her challenge to a state anti-discrimination law that compels her to shoot gay weddings even though she finds them morally objectionable. Huguenin, who faced a discrimination complaint after turning away a lesbian couple, argues that the law violates her First Amendment right to freedom of speech by forcing her to endorse a message with which she disagrees: that gay marriages should be celebrated. In a column about the case, New York Times legal writer Adam Liptak claims "there are constitutional values on both sides of the case: the couple's right to equal treatment and Ms. Huguenin's right to free speech." But the Constitution guarantees equal treatment by the government, not by private individuals or organizations. The 14th Amendment cannot justify requiring photographers to treat all couples equally any more than the First Amendment can justify requiring publishers to treat all authors equally. By erroneously suggesting that deciding Huguenin's case means choosing between competing "constitutional values," Liptak lends cover to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in this case is arguing that Huguenin's civil liberties should be overridden by a principle that cannot be found in the Bill of Rights:

I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.

Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices. Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said, and Ms. Huguenin acted from "heartfelt convictions."

But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.

"This is a business," Ms. Melling said. "At the end of the day, it sells services for photographing weddings. This is like putting up a sign that says 'Heterosexual Couples Only.' "

Wouldn't someone who posted such a sign be exercising his constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association? The ACLU may not like the message, but that consideration has never stopped the organization from defending the constitutional rights of Nazis and Klansmen. If it cannot bring itself to stand up for Huguenin's rights, it should at least have the decency to sit this one out.

Scott Shackford discusses earlier stages of the case here and here.

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356 responses to “The Constitutional Right to Conscript a Wedding Photographer

  1. “But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.”

    Wow. A lawyer said this.

    1. What is wrong, from a legal perspective, with the selected quote? She does not say ‘the constitutionally mandated equal treatment of gay couples,’ just that ‘equal treatment’ is. She may be simply referring to a policy preference (unlike Liptak’s silly quote).

      1. I stand corrected.
        I should have said, “Oh, a lawyer said this.”

        1. Consider this analogous statement: ‘the protection of fetal life is more important than the Constitutional privacy rights of women seeking abortions after the 20th week’

          1. It’s not analogous because in that case two rights are in conflict. There is no conflict in the above case because no one has a right to having their wedding photographed.

            1. What legally recognized right is at stake in the first half of my analogy?

              1. The right to life. Your hypothetical presupposes this. If a 20th week fetus is not an entity with rights then there is no argument to be had.

                1. There is no legally recognized right to life of 21 week old fetuses.

                  This is why many pro-lifers push a Life Amendment to the Constitution.

                  1. I disagree, I suspect that if the Texas 20 week limit comes before the court it will be upheld within the current legal framework.

                    But that is irrelevant, either the fetus has rights or it doesn’t no matter what SCOTUS says.

                    1. Nevermind, you said below that no one has a legal right to life. There’s no point in discussing with you further.

                    2. Curious Apatheist, if there is a ‘right to life’ in our law, as opposed to statutory prohibitions on taking a life, where is that right found?

                      And what is up with the Life Amendment pro-lifers push?

                    3. Curious Apatheist, if there is a ‘right to life’ in our law, as opposed to statutory prohibitions on taking a life, where is that right found?

                      There’s absolutely no right to privacy spelled out anywhere in the Constitution, so I don’t see how you can demand a right to life be spelled out to balance it.

                      In any case, in RvW, the state argued that the Equal Protection Clause (14th amendment) mandates that the state ban the killing of pre-born humans if it bans the killing of any humans.

                      And what is up with the Life Amendment pro-lifers push?

                      They want to force the SCOTUS to side with them by foreclosing any other possible interpretation.

                    4. -in RvW, the state argued that the Equal Protection Clause (14th amendment) mandates that the state ban the killing of pre-born humans if it bans the killing of any humans.

                      That point is not the same as a right to life, and what is more, they lost on that point. So my statement that there is no legally cognizable ‘right to life’ in our jurisprudence stands.

                    5. Wow. Rights are statutory? Established by law?

                      Bopeep, I dont think you know what a right is.

                    6. Where did I say that rights are statutory? I actually distinguish statutes and Constitutional rights. My entire point rests on the distinction between a statutory protection against discrimination and a Constitutional right to such protection.

                      I just said there is no legally cognizable right to life, just as there is no legally cognizable right to equal treatment by private businesses.

                    7. “Statutory prohibitions on taking a life” are based entirely on the understanding that everyone has a right to life. It is so obvious that, after being stated explicitly in the Declaration of Independence, the founders believed that it need not be stated again.

                      Obviously, they didn’t take into account just how stupid some people can be.

                    8. ummm there is…its called one of our founding documents….The declaration of independence

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L….._Happiness

                    9. If it is upheld I can, and will bet you, it most certainly will not be decided on a legal right of the fetus to life. It will be decided because they rule that as a matter of policy a state law protecting fetal life does not violate the right to privacy. Just like in this case NM argues that their state law does not violate the free exercise of religion right.

                    10. It’s found in the 9th just like all non-enumerated natural rights.

                      That’s the point, we have rights no matter what the law or SCOTUS says, and it is also legally in the Constitution no matter how much the government including SCOTUS ignores it.

                    11. That’s the point, we have rights no matter what the law or SCOTUS says, and it is also legally in the Constitution no matter how much the government including SCOTUS ignores it.

                      Ap, Bo-Bo is playing the same game Tony always plays whenever negative v. positive rights comes up.

                      He’s outright stating that we have rights because the law gives us rights, which is how he’s managed to monkey-fuck his way into claiming a positive right (forcing service providers to provide a service) is exactly the same as a negative right (the right to life).

                    12. He’s outright stating that we have rights because the law gives us rights

                      IOW

                      Oh. A lawyer said this.

                    13. Bo isn’t a lawyer yet I believe.

                    14. Mr. Hart, here is a dime for you to call your parents.

                    15. The Constitution is a limitation on governmental powers. It does not enumerate every natural right, as it plainly states in the Ninth Amendment, and it should be obvious this includes the right to life (the very foundation for all natural rights?”life, liberty, and estate” in the Lockean terminology). Where it is relevant, the Constitution explicitly limits government powers with respect to people’s rights to life, liberty, and property in the Fifth Amendment.

                    16. -The Constitution is a limitation on governmental powers

                      Which is why, even in the 9th Amendment, there is no right to life against non-governmental threats to it. The government cannot take your life without due process, that is a legally recognized right. And the government may make laws protecting people’s lives, but there is no legally recognized ‘right to life’ which government must follow.

                      Of course there is a moral right to life.

                    17. -Bo-Bo is playing the same game Tony always plays whenever negative v. positive rights comes up.

                      Absolutely incorrect.

                      We have legally recognized rights, that is what our legal system deals with.

                      I personally believe in other rights, not legally recognized.

                      I am just saying that some of the rights you or I may morally recognize are not legally recognized.

                    18. As a moral matter of course I agree we have these kinds of rights, but I said ‘legally recognized right.’

                      The SCOTUS will, after all, be dealing with those.

                    19. The mistake of your opponents, of course, was allowing you to get away with restricting the discussion to a jurisprudential context when that’s plainly not the context the ACLU lawyer was talking about.

                      Congrats on winning the debate, though I doubt you convinced anyone of anything other than your own slipperiness.

                    20. He didnt win the debate because no one accepted his jurisprudential context premise.

                    21. I didn’t see any objections.

                    22. robc at 11:47 objected.

                      I didnt see any acceptances either. In fact, all the posts were coming from different premises, which clearly shows a lack of acceptance.

                  2. There is no legally recognized right to life of 21 week old fetuses.

                    There is no legally recognized right for nigger slaves to have standing in court.

          2. Consider this: a criminal defense lawyer charges $1000/hr for services which prices them out of the range of most citizens. A black man charged with a crime wants the lawyer to represent him but can’t afford it. A white man with enough money is charged with an identical crime and hires the lawyer. How is that equal treatment? Shouldn’t the lawyer have to provide equal access to his services regardless of price?

            1. Are you talking about as a legal matter? As a legal matter one can discriminate on ability to pay, but not on race (and in NM, sexual orientation).

              1. Why? Can a lawyer decline to accept a client because they don’t like them or are they compelled to take all cases?

                1. Lawyers have different rules.

              2. Not so fast, my friend! It’s pretty clear that on average there is a disparity between racial groups in ability to pay for things (that is, income or purchasing power). It’s been said that if you can show a disproportionate racial impact in other areas that counts as racial discrimination…

                1. Which is precisely why I included the race of the potential clients in my hypothetical. Blacks are a protected class aren’t they?

                  1. Response was to Bo.

                  2. The discrimination would be seen to be based on ability to pay (not protected) not race (protected).

                    1. That’s why all the challenges to voting laws under the VRA fail, of course.

                    2. KX, the legal argument against the voter ID laws was that they are equivalent to a poll tax (which is specifically forbidden by the 15th). It was not an EPC issue.

                    3. Those are not the only such laws blocked.

                    4. Those are not the only such laws blocked.

                    5. Yes of course, but anything that putatively prevents poor people from voting is going to run afoul of the poll tax prohibition. You can’t use that as an analogy for other types of laws that disfavor poor people.

                    6. The applicable test is results-oriented and applies in situations where there is no money involved. If protected group X votes disproportionately on Sunday, a change that removes voting on Sunday can be blocked. Contra BCE, the policy would be seen as race-based by default.

                      The point was that it’s not so far a stretch to extend that standard to all factors that keep people out of certain businesses. Minorities are disproportionately poor. Thus having a high price disproportionately excludes minorities. This is true even if you would welcome any paying customer with open arms. Why should we presume racism in one case but not the other?

        2. I’m still laughing.

      2. From a legal perspective, I believe the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. So no matter how much she may think gay couples should be treated equally, there is nothing that trumps the Constitution that demands that it be so.

        1. The Constitution prohibits the government from doing certain things — it doesn’t protect you from your fellow citizens acting as individuals.

          1. So, under your theory we really should not have to surrender our guns to the government so they can protect us? I could warm up to that one.

          2. True, but the 14th amendment says that if the govt protects some people from their fellow citizens, it has to protect everyone the same way.

            Yes, Bo, I know that SCOTUS has mangled the EPC beyond recognition in their case law, but that’s what the amendment says.

            1. Tulpa, the 14th by its express terms refers only to ‘persons born.’ That was a big part of Roe. That is what the Amendment says.

      3. What is wrong, from a legal perspective, with the selected quote?

        That the ACLU has lost sight of the fact that the protections in the constitution are for individuals against government oppression.

      4. Wouldn’t the policy preference automatically be to protect rights detailed in the Constitution?

      5. Don’t be a dickhead. The ACLU is in court arguing that the government you use its power to force this woman to engage in activity that she rightly or wrongly find repugnant. That is despicable and has absolutely nothing to do with civil liberties. The ACLU has absolutely no objection to big government except on that very limited area of issues that it cares about. Cases like this makes my stomach turn whenever I read someone on this website speaking highly of them.

    2. Many ACLU chapters are dominated by progressives who have no interest whatsoever in defending liberty interests.

      This is a great anecdote of this.

    3. The issue isn’t the photographer’s right to free speech, it’s her right to work or not work for any particular client. ACLU has fucked up here, big time.

      -jcr

  2. I didn’t realize Sullum was such a homophobe.

    1. ?

      1. Do I have to spell it out for you?

        1. Maybe my sarcasm meter will be working better tomorrow. Or some other meter.

          Had a crap day at work with idiot bosses and paper pushers. I’m working on some consumable recalibration.

  3. “But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.”

    Look, if we don’t force people to put on a big smile and accept stuff they hate as good, we’ll just be one step away from Whites Only lunch counters and cops busting up gay bars.

    The amount of liberty a person is permitted to have should be inversely proportional to the amount of privilege they possess. And the way I see it white, hetero business owner is way higher on the totem pole than lesbian couple.

    1. You can’t parody this kind of bullshit. There’s no way of telling whether you’re sarcastic.

      1. He is being sarcastic, but he stumbled backwards into actual arguments.

        I say he won the internet today.

  4. But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers

    The perfect example of:

    A. Why I’ll never support the ACLU.

    and

    B. The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”

    “I’m a member of the anal dog raper society and I demand you take pictures of my initiation ceremony.”

    (Not a slam against gays. A slam on protected classes in general.)

    1. -The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”

      No one in the case is saying this.

      New Mexico’s argument is not that the Constitution does not apply because the gay couple involved is a ‘protected class,’ their argument is that neutral, generally applicable laws that incidentally burden religious exercise are allowed by the Free Exercise Clause.

      If this were not the case then adherents of religions mandating child sacrifice would be exempt from prosecution for carrying out that command.

      1. Who the fuck cares why the photographer didn’t want to take the pictures. That’s the real point.

      2. It’s because the real right being violated is freedom of association but unfortunately the BOR isn’t clear enough on the matter. It shouldn’t matter if her objections to providing her photography services is religiously based or not.

        1. -It’s because the real right being violated is freedom of association but unfortunately the BOR isn’t clear enough on the matter.

          Exactly.

          I oppose anti-discrimination laws, but let us not misrepresent what is at issue legally.

          1. I know why they do it because it has a much more likely chance of success at protecting their rights but when people are going off about the need to have religious exemptions it annoys me somewhat. Many of them don’t care about freedom of association for everyone, only for themselves.

          2. A technicality, but:
            It is not the purpose of the COTUS and the Bill of Rights to define rights, only to protect us explicitly from violations of some of them by the government. The 9th Amendment suggests that there are additional rights not mentioned in the COTUS that are retained by the people. Whatever those rights are, they should not be violated, either. It’s the business of philosophers and judges to identify rights.

      3. But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of “__________________”, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.”

        “B. The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”
        …………………..
        No one in the case is saying this.

        It looks to me like that’s exactly what she’s saying.. without any complicated “Legalese”…

        1. Equal treatment could be Constitutionally mandated (like when we say government schools can not be segregated without violating the Equal Protection Clause) or it could be just a policy preference (like the CRA).

          1. Individuals =/= Fed/State/Local municipal institutions, two different animals. Freedom of association, and speech are fundamental principals.. bedrock to the structure of the Constitution that such a mandate would undermine…

        2. Technically, sexual orientation isn’t currently a protected class. Although I have no doubt that’s what this couple is pushing for.

          1. “Technically, sexual orientation isn’t currently a protected elevated class. Although I have no doubt that’s what this couple is pushing for.”

          2. -sexual orientation isn’t currently a protected class

            Constitutionally, yes. Statutorily, incorrect (at least in NM).

            1. That’s why a same-sex couple can get a marriage license in any New Mexico jurisdiction, amirite?

              1. Coming soon to a Court Room near you!

                1. Certainly it would have been a better use of their time to sue the state rather than the photographer who declined to photograph them celebrating what, at the time of the complaint, the state denied them entirely.

      4. Child sacrifice? Really? That’s a piss poor analogy. Right to life and Right to be photographed are not equivalent. If you can’t differentiate between positive and negative rights, then maybe you should start bunking with Tony. NTTAWWT

        1. It is you that is having trouble with the legal issues.

          You should read Employment Division v. Smith and get back to us.

          1. Child sacrifice and drug use are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One is a voluntary choice on the part of the user that initiates no force against any other party and the other is murder. Maybe my legal instincts are wrong but my moral ones are just fine.

            1. Not different in legal principle.

              The plaintiff here says: I should get an exemption from this law because my religion commands me to do this thing.

              Now, how would that not apply to the child sacrifice-believing adherent? Remember, law in this country works on precedent.

              1. Because child sacrifice involves violating someone else’s rights. How is that a difficult distinction?

                1. Of course it is a distinction morally, I am talking about legally.

                  There is no legal ‘right to life.’ You, and children, are protected from murder by statutes. Statutes just like the NM anti-discrimination one.

                  The plaintiff in this case is asking for an exemption from a statute because their religion command them to violate it. See?

                  1. If that argument would fly in court, then what I see is a legal system that is FUBAR 10 times over.

                    Please, point me to the court case that declared that there is no legal “right to life”, but that it is merely a statutory protection which exists because of the good will of the legislator. I’d love to have my mind blown at the twisted logic that could arrive at that conclusion.

                    1. You are arguing for this right, please show me any case establishing a ‘right to life.’ Do you see it in the Constitution, for example (do not say the 14th or 5th Due Process Clause, that only applies to the state).

                    2. How about the 9th? Just because it is not spelled out in the Constitution doesn’t mean a right doesn’t exist. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say if the courts have ever ruled on whether a right to life, or lets say a right to not be murdered, which is really more accurate, is covered by the 9th. But if ever there was an unemumerated right that ought to be protected, that would be it.

                    3. -How about the 9th?

                      I would like to believe that, but no court I know of has recognized it.

                    4. I would like to believe that, but no court I know of has recognized it.

                      You have any examples of a court claiming the 9th doesnt exist?

                      They may not use it, but they acknowledge its existence.

                    5. robc, I was referring to a right to life as part of the 9th.

                    6. Bo, every case tried for murder, attempted murder and manslaughter “establishes” the right to life. If there was no legal right to life, all the people here who think you’re a disingenuous hack would be free to murder you.

                      As I said above, after stating explicitly a right to life in the Declaration of Independence, the founders thought it was so obvious it need not be stated again.

                      Perhaps in hindsight, it would have been better had they included the right to life in the Bill of Rights, to establish that the government had no right to kill people. But, I guess the government would wipe their asses with that right along with all the others that get in their way.

                    7. as we all have said…..Declaration of Independence is one of our founding documents and is a core part of our legal government….it states it in there…shesh you forget one of our first documents -_-

                  2. Fuck the legal system. I dont give a fuck about anything but the morality.

                    1. Unfortunately, unlike morality, the legal system can lock you in a rapecage.

                2. Because he’s being a pedant

              2. Not different in legal principle.

                The plaintiff here says: I should get an exemption from this law because my religion commands me to do this thing.

                Now, how would that not apply to the child sacrifice-believing adherent? Remember, law in this country works on precedent.

                Your Wikipedia reading assignment for today, Bo: “strict scrutiny”, “intermediate scrutiny”, “rational basis”.

                1. Your internet reading assignment for today: Free Exercise law after Smith does not do scrutiny analysis.

                  1. Bullshit. See Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

                    1. Which, of course, is statutory.

          2. I just read the Wikipedia summary and don’t see how that decision could possibly make child sacrifice OK.

          3. Child sacrifice isn’t analogous because the child’s rights are being violated.

            1. Bullshit. Children don’t have rights. Ask any public school student.

              1. no shit….public school has turned into prison. The amounts of rights kids have are a joke…Hell you are not even an adult until you are like 21 one -_-

      5. New Mexico’s argument is not that the Constitution does not apply because the gay couple involved is a ‘protected class,’ their argument is that neutral, generally applicable laws that incidentally burden religious exercise are allowed by the Free Exercise Clause.

        You’re vastly oversimplifying here. There are differing levels of scrutiny for different rights, and free exercise restrictions get strict scrutiny. The law has to serve a compelling govt interest and be tailored to violate the right as little as possible to serve that interest.

        Laws against child murder obviously pass strict scrutiny. There’s no rhyme nor reason to the SCOTUS’ opinions these days, so I could see them claiming the anti-discrim laws also pass, which would be a joke of course.

        1. Holy fucking Christ on the cross…

          Tulpa AND Bo on the same thread.

          Prepare to be argued to the death about NOTHING of substance.

          God (or the nonexistent higher power of your choice)save us!

      6. The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”

        No one in the case is saying this.

        What part of “the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers” don’t you understand?

        Gay couples are one class. Commercial photographers are another class.

        According to ACLU:

        Gay couples Commercial photographers.

        1. And according to Reason.com comments restrictions, the greater sign doesn’t exist to describe which class is protected and which class isn’t.

      7. -The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”

        No one in the case is saying this.

        Have I read this case wrong? Isn’t this exactly what is being claimed?

        But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.

        Yeah, I’m still interpreting it as making an exception to the first amendment for a protected class.

    2. I’m assuming that Bo replied to me as there is a blank space between comments. I can also assume it’s some inane rambling associated with some trivial point within my comment.

      Someone please tell him to FUCK OFF for me.

      1. -Someone please tell him to FUCK OFF for me.

        Really though, how could a stand in reach that level of cunning logic and eloquence?

        1. Fuck off.

        2. FUCK OFF for FdA

          1. I must confess to find it amusing that this post came in almost 15 minutes after Cytoxic’s. Did it really take you longer than that to write it ;)?

            1. FUCK OFF for Bobarian

            2. Holy crap, you’re tiresome. Isn’t there some Motel 6 where you and Tulpa can get together and pretend to argue?

            3. Wow. A thread shitted up with pretentious boredom by both Bo and Tupla!

              Please sir, may I have some more?

            4. here you go 2 days later or so…..fuck off!!! I had exams so i couldn’t read the news for a couple days….had like 60 articles to read, which took a couple days -_-

        3. No, BCE, it isn’t an inability to respond to you. It’s just that it’s increasingly obvious that it’s pointless. No matter how accurate and well considered his counterpoint, you’ll simply proceed to find some other spec in his argument that really has, at most, a tangental relationship to his central point and commence pretending it invalidates his argument.

          Now, FUCK OFF!

          1. No matter how accurate and well considered his counterpoint, you’ll simply proceed to find some other spec in his argument that really has, at most, a tangental relationship to his central point and commence pretending it invalidates his argument.

            SOP.

      2. He made an analogy about religions that mandate child sacrifice, so well played

        1. We have laws against child sacrifice and, in New Mexico, against this kind of discrimination.

          The plaintiffs here argue that since their religion commands the discrimination at issue, they should be exempt from the generally applicable law.

          So, could you use some of that vaunted Randian logic to show how this would not apply to all kinds of like cases, including the one I chose?

          1. In your scenario a person is murdered.

            1. Wow, that is terrible my friend! But somewhat expected from a follower of Rand. All that talk of abstract logic, no real interest in engaging in it.

              1. The abstract logical difference here is negative versus positive rights. You can say the child has a right to life, ie to not be murdered. No one is compelled to act in not murdering the child. By saying someone has a right to not be discriminated against by a private individual is really saying that this individual should be compelled to do something they don’t want to do.

          2. We have laws against child sacrifice and, in New Mexico, against this kind of discrimination.

            I’m not actually aware of any laws specifically addressing child sacrifice. Since there’s no specific legal prohibition, it may well be legal if we rely upon your logic.

            1. Murder laws, the intent matters not (which, of course, is kind of the point, right?).

          3. Except murder laws are narrowly tailored and serve a compelling govt interest.

          4. Stop with the child sacrifice slip-slope argument. Murder is not a protected right that can be coupled with freedom of religion.

            Abortion, however is, so if you sacrifice that child before it leaves the womb, you’re a-ok!

            1. i always found it interesting the double standard…if you kill a woman caring a child it is double homicide but if you personally choose to kill it…well thats different. How does the child have a right to life in one case….but not the other?

      3. I’m assuming that Bo replied to me as there is a blank space between comments. I can also assume it’s some inane rambling associated with some trivial point within my comment.

        He’s now citing child sacrifice and claiming their is no right to life and that it is statutes that protect us and children from murder. He’s going full-blown Tony.

        Bo-Bo has done the internet equivalent of pooping in his hand and smearing it on the thread, so you haven’t really missed much.

        1. their = there.

        2. Not a fan of nuance in your discussions, eh Redmanfan? You should certainly stay away from courtrooms then, they are full of decisions based on that.

          1. Not a fan of nuance in your discussions, eh Redmanfan? You should certainly stay away from courtrooms then, they are full of decisions based on that.

            Dude, you tried (and failed miserably) to claim that prohibitions against child sacrifice and murder for religious reasons are analogous to prohibiting a business person refusing service to a gay couple on religious grounds. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

            Nuance doesn’t mean what you think it means dipshit.

        3. Bo-Bo has done the internet equivalent of pooping in his hand and smearing it on the thread, so you haven’t really missed much.

          Nah, he’ smeared shit all over himself.

    3. “The perfect example of:

      A. Why I’ll never support the ACLU.

      and

      B. The moral hazard of carving out exceptions to the Constitution for “protected classes”

      “I’m a member of the anal dog raper society and I demand you take pictures of my initiation ceremony.”

      (Not a slam against gays. A slam on protected classes in general.)”

      I don’t know if I can say I’ll never support the ACLU, but this does make me wonder if I my suspicion when I was younger (and conservative) that the ACLU is not as principled as they would have the public believe.

      1. This…the ACLU likes to cherry pick to best fit their interests…..which really damages our country in many horrible ways.

  5. What’s the problem here? Everyone knows gay people are more deserving of equal protection than photographers. Because, um, er…Matthew Shepard.

  6. So, if Harvard doesn’t admit me because my test scores were too low, I can sue them for discrimination against poor test-taking abilities?

    1. Cunning

      1. It’s surprising his test scores were so low.

      2. So cunning, you could brush your teeth with it.

        1. “So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.”

    2. A better plan is to claim to be a gay indian. Then run for congress.

      1. Pff, like that could ever happen.

    3. I think Harvard should be obliged to make reasonable accommodation.

      The House and Senate makes accommodations for retarded elected representatives. The White House makes accommodations for certain special needs staffers. Why should Harvard get a pass?

    4. They’re discriminating against the academically impaired disadvantaged underprivileged.

  7. There are few political debates as inscrutable and utterly pointless as this one.

    Is there anyone — anyone in the whole goddamned universe — who really thinks that someone is oppressed when they are politely declined photography services? What is the worst possible outcome — even crappier wedding pictures to bore your Facebook friends with and/or never look at again? At least when the CRA was passed, blacks really were at risk of not having a place to sleep or a business they could buy some food at. The issues at stake are nothing more than peripheral, yet I am supposed to act like either the greatest civil rights movement since the original, or the end of Christianity as we know it, is upon us? Give me a fucking break.

    Oh, and if anyone asks negative rights beat equality any day of the week — that’s not even a fair contest, in my mind.

    1. I have heard the argument made (by Eugene Volokh on his website, though he himself does not accept it) that being discriminated against is a harm in itself, apart from the denial of services, and a harm which the government should legitimately combat.

      1. No. No way that can fly. That’s not even a slippery slope. That’s a direct negation of the Right of Association, which is protected by the First Amendment.

      2. There’s a ‘hurt feelings’ clause in the Constitution?

        1. Things close to ‘hurt feelings’ are often legally actionable. Consider privacy torts.

          1. An excellent argument for tort reform.

            1. An excellent argument for drowning lawyers.

          2. The only privacy tort whose basis is anything close to “hurt feelings” is public disclosure of private facts, which generally requires proof that the disclosure would have been extremely offensive to a reasonable person.

            If you think that this kind of low-grade discrimination rises to that level, you’re an even bigger fucking idiot than you’ve thus far demonstrated. Go play in traffic, you fucking useless gunner dickwad.

            1. Who said it rises to that level? I said it fell into the same category (‘hurt feelings’), which you seem to concede here.

      3. I have heard the argument made that Jewish bankers under the influence of the Knights Templar have control of the world’s governments, and that this is a harm unto itself. There, now we’ve both made reference to an utterly ludicrous argument we have heard at one point in our lives.

        1. I have to agree with Professor Volokh that I do not think the argument I presented is nearly as obviously as ludicrous as the one you did.

          1. I don’t really care if you agree with Professor Volokh, Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad whilst dissenting from Lucifer and Torquemada if you can’t be arsed to tell us what the argument was and what aspect of it was so illuminating.

            1. I told you already, it is you that have not replied.

              You keep talking about denial of services. But that is a separate harm that what Volokh was mentioning. The idea is that being discriminated itself is a harm that the state can address, much like the ‘feeling of having one’s privacy violated’ is in many jurisdictions actionable.

              1. Having your privacy violated involves someone violating your privacy. Not getting a service you requested because you have no legal authority to force someone to do something for you is a completely different situation.

                1. -Not getting a service you requested because you have no legal authority to force someone to do something for you is a completely different situation.

                  Morally, I agree. But both are non-physical, non-monetary damages that the law recognizes.

                  1. Which law? That’s the point of this going to a higher court.

              2. And how, pray tell, do you define discrimination? If I deny the pleasure of my company to someone I find distasteful, have I discriminated against them and caused them harm?

                1. I will say this once more: I do not support anti-discrimination laws.

                  Having said that, as to how do you define discrimination, there is a body of laws and casework parsing that out.

      4. Fine, then it’s wrong to discriminate against the photographer by forcing her to take a job she doesn’t want just because she’s straight. Somebody call the ACLU.

        1. It should be a policy matter, not a legal one.

          The people of New Mexico should never have passed a law that compels people in this way.

          1. So that means that the law shouldn’t be enforced, right? Isn’t that what you always champion? Ignore the laws that are icky unless the legislature included a clause along the lines of “and this time we mean it?”

            1. -So that means that the law shouldn’t be enforced, right? Isn’t that what you always champion? Ignore the laws that are icky unless the legislature included a clause along the lines of “and this time we mean it?”

              When have I made that argument?

              1. You have been happy to support non-enforcement of drug laws. When the argument was made that the law is the law you felt that the executive should be allowed to enforce as they please unless the legislating body actually included language to the effect that they, the executive, couldn’t.

                1. OK, I see, you are asking me would I support an executive who said, as a matter of discretion, that they would not prioritize the enforcement of these anti-discrimination laws?

                  My answer: yes.

                  1. I’ll give you points for consistency at least.

          2. As far as I know, it’s not a New Mexican law. For as long as I’ve lived here, there’s been signs in businesses saying, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” I’m shocked that this is going this high, it’s a no-brainer.

            If you were a lawyer instead of a landowner then you might know this.

            … Hobbit, Esq.

            1. -We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

              That does not apply to refusals based on protected classes.

              1. Show me “protected classes” in the Constitution. All I can find is the XIVth.

                … Hobbit, Esq, 8+ acres

                1. The protected classes are statutory, how many times does this need to be said?

      5. I eagerly await laws forcing Bill Gates to grant me access to his yacht and forcing Christina Hendricks to give me a blowjob.

      6. That’s not an argument, that’s a claim. Where’s the evidence to back it up?

      7. hat being discriminated against is a harm in itself, apart from the denial of services, and a harm which the government should legitimately combat.

        It’s a worse harm to “fight discrimination” at by carving out exceptions to our inalienable rights. When you carve out exceptions (major exceptions) to protect an ephemeral protected class, you harm everyone, including the protected class.

        1. Paul, I agree with you. In the discussion supra I was sticking to what the law currently says. If I had my druthers it would reflect what you just said.

      8. Wow. I am now going to tell every beautiful woman that discriminates against me by not sleeping with me that she is harming me and that I’ll be petitioning the government to make her stop.

        You really have no idea what you’re saying, do you?

  8. At least when the CRA was passed, blacks really were at risk of not having a place to sleep or a business they could buy some food at.

    I can see how legislators in 1964 had to seriously consider this issue, but I have to take a firm stand with those who voted on behalf of the motel and restaurant owners. The motel and restaurant owners the CRA was designed to defend against were on the wrong side morally, but they were on the right side Constitutionally. Now, look at our current predicament.

    1. The problem was never those motel and restaurant owners who didn’t want to serve Black patrons; the problem was the violence, threats, and intimidation against those owners who did want to serve them.

      1. Well, that and the general intimidation working in tandem with a boycott of black customers.

        A black customer would not only have wanted to stay the night in a reputable hotel as a creature comfort but also for personal safety; the alternative (sleeping in a car, a seedy part of town, or in whatever corner one found oneself in) was often injurious to black lives, liberty, and property.

      2. ^this.

        Woolworth’s Sit-In occurred in 1960, amiable consent soon followed, this was a problem that was well on its way to being corrected before the CRA, as Jim Crow was being wiped from the books. My aunt bought a shop one store down from Woolworth’s back in the late 70s. Between her antique shop and Woolworth’s was a bookstore owned by a gay couple. When dad and mom split and she tired of the dating scene they became her best friends for several years. Uncle Larry never hit on me in those years when I was a strapping young buck, but he did introduce me to Lenny Bruce on vinyl and he taught me how to make a proper martini. Point being, within two decades, that scene changed from being the place where sit-in protests occurred to remedy discrimination to cultural center of the local gay community.

    2. I agree with you, but I can definitely see the other side of it. I can’t see it for a bunch of yuppie idiots who could (and should) have easily found someone else to take pictures of their wedding.

    3. The problem was the laws mandating segregation and discrimination.

      1. This was a lot of it. Segregation wouldn’t have gotten to the level it did without the power of the State.

  9. The ACLU is a disgrace to the Constitution.

    1. Of course they are.

      What else could be expected from an organization founded by a self proclaimed Communist?

  10. I would retire from the photography business just to spite those uppity gays. They can do what they want, and I’m not stopping them, but I’ll be *damned* if I am forced to perform services for people that I don’t want to.

    no shoes, no shirt, no heterosexual intercourse, no service. Sorry mate, go next door.

    1. If somebody made me photograph a wedding against my will, they probably wouldn’t like the pictures I took of their wedding.

      1. Then they’ll sue for breach of contract and demand their money back

        1. “Then they’ll sue for breach of contract and demand their money back”

          And they could have it.
          Does the ACLU then get in the business of photoger-criticism? Does the judge say those photos aren’t good enough for equal treatment? Does the judge require the photoger to buy new equipment?
          I have a feeling we lost this because commerce clause.

          1. It’s not breach of contract if you were to write in (the extremely high priced offer to provide services) that there would be no refunds no matter what, and that the photographers sole obligation was to take X numbers of pictures.

            One could take some mighty unflattering but in focus pictures if sufficiently motivated.

        2. They might find those new contracts don’t have any guarantee of quality.

        3. Then they’ll smash their cameras and either go Galt or join the free shit brigade.

    2. Is this American again? Take your tired, but bigoted shit elsewhere please.

      1. I’m not American, nor am I bigoted. I am simply a believer in my right as an individual NOT to be coerced into doing business with people that I don’t want to. I don’t have to physically harm them, but I don’t have to contract with them. I’m not the gov’t.

  11. Note that gay marriage is not now and was not then legal in New Mexico. Completely different separate laws and issues.

    1. But the ACLU is still a disgrace to civil rights.

      Do they just ignore whatever parts of the First Amendment they don’t like?

      1. Apparently, same with the 2nd.

      2. What’s amazing is that they defend Klansmen’s right to Freedom of Speech. What kind of an organization would defend Klansmen but not an anti-gay marriage photographer?

        1. Do they still do that? I think that was back in the 1970s. I haven’t heard them weigh in on that recently. Maybe they still do.

          Anyway, I’d be interested to hear their stance on using the courts to force a gay photographer to shoot a Baptist wedding against his will.

          1. I believe the ACLU represented Klansman Barry Black in the cross-burning case Virgina v. Black.

        2. The Klansmen have zero probability of having their views implemented in public policy.

          The ACLU is happy to defend your freedoms, as long as you’re either a leftist or not a threat to leftism’s advance.

          1. ^ THIS

          2. While I agree with you in spirit, I find it difficult to believe that the ACLU believes that a wedding photographer in New Mexico (of all places) is a threat to leftism’s advance.

            1. I find it difficult to believe that the ACLU believes that a wedding photographer in New Mexico (of all places) is a threat to leftism’s advance.

              The precedent it would set to overturn the anti-discrimination law for religious objectors could be construed that way.

      3. The ACLU has fought for, and won, so many expansive readings and applications of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th Amendments that I can forgive their lapses on the 2nd and parts of the 1st.

        1. “The ACLU has fought for, and won, so many expansive readings and applications of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th Amendments.”

          Have they done any of that lately?

          1. Do you read SCOTUSBLOG? If you do not, you should (I do not mean this with any snark). The ACLU has been involved in lots of cases in those areas recently.

            1. I will look at it.

        2. They supported McCain Feingold, so there goes another part of the 1st.

          They support expansive eminent domain, so there goes part of the 5th.

          The 8th? What have they done with that? I don’t recall them opposing mandatory minimums.

          The 9th is essentially a Rorshach test at this point, and they oppose many claims of liberties protected by it (most famously economic liberty).

          The 10th they hate with unquenchable vitriol.

          1. They supported McCain Feingold, so there goes another part of the 1st.

            They did not and I followed that issue quite closely. Unless they made an 11th hour switch that I wasn’t aware of, I listened to an ACLU official on the local NPR chat show defend the ACLU’s attack (forgive my wording, it’s late) on CFR laws to be besieged by the NPR faithful complaining that money wasn’t speech. He was somewhat tepid and apologetic when speaking to the NPR faithful, but he stuck to his guns.

            Here’s a 1998 article of FORMER ACLU leaders taking issue with current aclu leadership on CFR:

            http://www.commondreams.org/pr…..61998a.htm

            Nine former leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today publicly released a joint statement declaring that the current ACLU leadership has misread the First Amendment as it applies to campaign finance laws and that significant campaign finance reform — including a soft money ban — is constitutional.

              1. Squirrels ate my link. Anyway, the ACLU opposed McCain-Feingold in particular, but actually supports fully public campaign financing according to their press release: http://tinyurl.com/mz5abu4

                1. That seems contradictory. How can you do public campaign financing the way progressives want it without preventing private campaign financing and violation of the 1st amendment, similar to McCain-Feingold?

          2. -The 8th? What have they done with that? I don’t recall them opposing mandatory minimums.

            Um, a great deal of death penalty jurisprudence has been shaped by ACLU brought or assisted actions. And they did oppose mandatory minimums, vehemently. With respect, you seem greatly uninformed here.

    2. B-b-but expansion of state-contracts! MUH DERP /John or Sarc

  12. It is times like these that I think the opponents of the Bill of Rights were on to something. This is an issue of liberty, how one person chooses to live their life and conduct themselves, pure and simple. But since we apparently don’t have any rights* that aren’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution + BoR*, this will end up getting forced into some argument about free speech rights, which seems a little convoluted to me, and not really the best way to go about arguing the case in an ideal world.

    *unless the government decides to invent new “rights”

    **and even then the government seems to think it can place “reasonable” restrictions on those rights

    1. The opponents to the BoR had the right intentions, but they would have been proven wrong in practice. The only reason we have such robust speech and gun protections are because they were written out explicitly.

      No matter how much they would have said “if you list your rights that list will eventually become your only rights”, and no matter how correct they were, without the list there would be no rights at all except what precedence and tradition called for. Just look at the UK; they are a perfect example of a country with strong traditional free speech and, even up to the beginning of the 20th Century, strong self-defense and gun rights as well. And now they’re all gone, because if they’re not written down, as soon as the government finds them inconvenient, it just takes them away.

      1. You are right of course. But it often feels like a no-win situation.

        1. I don’t believe in no-win situations.

          1. So how do you reprogram the simulator?

            1. The problem with the BoR isn’t that it enumerated only some rights, it is that it didn’t enumerate the living crap out of rights.

              Between 1,000 and 10,000 explictly protected rights would have made the point a lot clearer.

              1. That is one way to go, but I would favor taking a much simpler approach. Something along the lines of “Congress shall make no law prohibiting actions that do not cause harm to a party or parties that have not given their consent.” Except more 1800s-y

                1. That, followed by 1,000 explicit examples, would lack brevity, but be harder to finesse by people hell-bent on destroying those rights.

                  Brevity be damned — the Second Amendment would have been better if it proceeded to list every single weapon and ammunition currently available, and all future weapons innovations, and carrying those weapons in every place imaginable, as an explicit inalienable right.

                2. You’ll immediately run into problems with the definition of “harm”.

                  Remember, courts routinely award monetary settlements for “emotional distress”. What you’ll eventually get is the assumption that hurt feelings are an actionable harm.

              2. Yeah. And inject a version of the 9th Amendment after 20 or so enumerations.

                Amendment I Congress shall make no law [freedom of speech item #1]
                Amendment II Congress shall make no law [freedom of speech item #2]

                Amendment XX Congress shall make no law [freedom of speech item #20}
                Amendment XXI The enumeration of free speech rights in Amendments I to XX shall not be construed to deny or disparage free speech rights retained by the People.
                Amendment XXII Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion [item #1]

                But it wouldn’t make any difference. Progressives in and out of the ACLU would just say that it is a Living Constitution, and that those words mean something other than what they clearly denote.

              3. The problem with the BoR isn’t that it enumerated only some rights, it is that it didn’t enumerate the living crap out of rights.

                It did. See 9A.

          2. “I don’t believe in no-win situations.”

            Not a fan of thermodynamics, eh?

        2. It feels that way because when dealing with government, it IS a no-win situation.

          Hence why some people are anarchists.

  13. Seems like a pretty good plan to me dude.

    http://www.Privacy-Web.tk

  14. OT: Watching Son of Flubber with the kids. What a fun anti-government movie!

    It begins with the protagonist going to D.C. to arrange the transfer of his invention to the military. He’s expecting to get remuneration, but of course gets the run-around. He gets back home just in time to meet some businessmen who are eager to capitalize on flubber. They’re offering his wife mink coats and pearls, plus a check for $1 million. The juxtaposition of the businessmen offering expensive gifts with the government jerking him around is quite amusing. When the businessmen find out that the FedGov has exclusive rights, they take their gifts and leave, only to be replaced by a sincerely sleazy IRS agent, who wants a check from them for over $600,000, based on the estimated income the professor provided. The IRS guy goes on about how the government really needs the money while Brainard and his wife struggle to dig up enough change to pay the paperboy. (cont.)

    1. Well, the main antagonist is Alonzo Hawk, a “sleazy” businessman. He’s grouchy and unethical, but one can’t help but think that, had Brainard put aside his own prejudices, he would have gotten what he wanted (a viable backer for his new invention) a lot sooner.

    2. The viewer also gets the enjoyment of seeing police cars get trashed on more than one occasion.

  15. Evening Threading:

    In Western Europe, the average jobless rate is twice as high in countries with a minimum wage vs. those with no minimum

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/…..o-minimum/

    Spiffy index:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/wp-co…..inwage.jpg

    1. 27%! I hadn’t looked at Greece’s or Spain’s official unemployment rates lately.

      1. It is even worse for young people. Maybe as high as 50%? I seem to remember hearing that at one point…

        1. Yup. 56% for people under 25.

          1. It’s interesting to note that of the debt laden “PIIGS” (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) the one with the lowest unemployment is Italy…which is also the only one without a minimum wage.

            Based on the unemployment rates, Italy doesn’t actually belong on the same list with the other four. 12% unemployment looks like full employment when you compare it to Portugal’s 15.6%, Greece’s 27.6% or Spain’s 27.2%.

            1. I think you had a good point below that it probably belies a larger regulatory culture. It would be interesting to see unemployment for low-skilled workers broken down by minimum wage. I suspect you’d see a larger direct effect there.

            2. But not hugely different than Ireland’s 13.2%

              1. Stop getting in the way of my cherry picked statistics, you son of a bitch.

                If Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Winner and Godking of the American left, is allowed to horribly cherry pick his statistics while denying facts that displease him, then dammit, why can’t I?

                1. Actually only 72% of Krugman’s statistics are horribly cherry-picked…

          2. Take that with a grain of salt, it’s simultaneously an indicator of how much economic activity is conducted off-the-books.

      2. 27%! I hadn’t looked at Greece’s or Spain’s official unemployment rates lately.

        Their youth unemployment is 50%+.

        Those graphs also leave out the fact that countries with a minimum wage almost certainly have stricter restrictions and regulations elsewhere.

        I personally don’t know that it has much to do with the fact of having a minimum wage so much as other regulations that tend to go along with it. This is kind of borne out by the fact that the best countries on the minimum wage list are Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK which are far less heavily regulated than countries like Greece, France, and Portugal.

        The same is true on the no minimum wage list. The best countries are Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Iceland while the worst are Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. I think the first 5 are notably more economically free than the last 3. That seems to say that the main difference isn’t the minimum wage so much as the fact that countries with a minimum wage tend to have other economically restrictive laws as well.

        1. I think the first 5 are notably more economically free than the last 3.

          Actually Denmark is the second highest ranking European country on the Index of Economic Freedom, ahead of the US. And right after the US comes Ireland. Germany is 19.

          1. I’d love to see what Venezuela’s score drops to in the next few years, now that they’re sending armed goons to rob mom and pop electronic stores.

            I don’t know that it’s actually possible for them to drop in the rankings though. It will be awfully tough to fall below Zimbabwe or Cuba and North Korea’s hold on the top seems pretty secure.

    2. “In Western Europe, the average jobless rate is twice as high in countries with a minimum wage vs. those with no minimum”

      Not to worry; the proggies will claim “AUSTERITY!”

  16. You guys sure are into this culture war stuff, aren’t you? 🙂

    1. I guess if your 1st amendment rights is Kulture Var, then sure.

  17. Arcade Fire issue a dress code for fans on their new tour

    1. That may be the douchiest picture I’ve seen… well, at least today.

    2. Are those guys trying to outvie The Pogues for world’s ugliest band?

        1. No fair, the 70s don’t count!

        2. No fair, the 70s don’t count!

          1. Fagen is now forty years older. Your move.

            1. That early part of the 70s should be wiped from our collective memory, permanently.

              It should only be remembered as Glam, the MC5, and The Stooges. …everything else is better forgotten.

              Everything else is better forgotten.

              1. No way man! The early 70’s were the Golden Age of Pink Floyd (Echoes, Pompeii, Dark Side, etc.), and Led Zeppelin, and Bad Co., and The Who…

  18. If forced to take a photography job I objected to, I would just take all the photos with a good, long lens… strictly of the attendee’s ears and hands.
    My freedom of expression.

    1. Just delete all of the photos at the end.

      “Oops, my camera malfunctioned.”

      1. They’ll sue you for buttloads of damages.

      2. “Oops, my camera malfunctioned.”

        Nah, just write your standard contract to get paid for your artistic expression, however the inspiration strikes. If someone forces me to work for them whether I like it or not, they can damn-well be forced to pay for my work whether they like it or not.

        “I was captured by the genius of Daniel McFarlan Moore… driven to record the godlike power of the florescent lamps! See the verdant tones it cast? Glorious! Glorious, I tell you! Pah! Troglodites and savana apes, all of you!”

      3. Which causes actual harm to the couple. That is a “solution” that is entirely dishonorable than the polite refusal which New Mexico law seeks to prohibit.

  19. Really, Christians should seize the opportunity to spread the Gospel. “You want me to photograph your same-sex weddding? I’ll be happy to do it. By the way, have you ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? Here’s a tract…”

    1. Actually, that is the best idea. Smile and tell all of the wedding party that Jesus loves them even though they are gay, that He can forgive them of their sins, invite them to church, etc., etc. at the rehearsal dinner. If the bride and bride object, well, freedom of speech and freedom of religion, maybe they should have thought about that.

  20. Supreme Court says Texas can enforce its anti-abortion laws while the federal courts consider a legal challenge to those laws.

    This decision to allow Texas to enforce its duly-adopted laws until further notice provokes beautiful howls of butthurt outrage from four liberal justices.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..trictions/

    The Court’s decision:

    http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/…..-19-13.pdf

    1. The liberal dissenters weep yummy, yummy tears:

      “As a practical matter, the Fifth Circuit’s decision to stay the injunction meant that abortion clinics in Texas whose physicians do not have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic were forced to cease offering abortions. And it means that women who were planning to receive abortions at those clinics were forced to go else-where?in some cases 100 miles or more?to obtain a safe abortion, *or else not to obtain one at all*.” [emphasis added]

      Not obtain an abortion at all! Oh, no!

      1. More horrors as a result of the hospital-access law being enforced:

        “leaves 24 counties in the Rio Grande
        Valley . . . with no abortion provider because those providers do not have admitting privileges and are unlikely to get them,”…Applicants assert that 20,000 women in Texas will be left
        without service [i.e., abortions]….The longer a given facility remains closed, the less likely it is ever to reopen even if the admitting privileges requirement is ultimately held unconstitutional.”

        I weep for you, the walrus said, I deeply sympathize…

        1. Wow you are one psychotic asshole. ‘Take that women trying to control their lives. ALL YOUR UTERUS ARE BELONG TO US’

          1. If they’d controlled their lives they wouldn’t have use for an abortion in the first place.

            Killing someone else to avoid the consequences of your lack of control is not “controlling your life”.

            1. They’re not killing anyone; there’s no person. It’s basically amputation.

              1. Don’t force your bizarre, counterfactual version of biology and metaphysics on anyone else.

  21. OT but more NM news:

    Late term abortion ban appears to be losing in Albuquerque election

    http://www.kob.com/article/sto…..owqIieFcgc

    … Hobbit

  22. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_…..ns-staffer

    According to the report, Incognito would sometimes dress in garb from the staff member’s culture and make profane jokes about that culture, making the staff member uncomfortable.

    Anybody have a guess on the culture and garb? I don’t see any obvious candidates here.

    Muslim and towel is the best I got.

    1. Derka deraka! Muhammad jihad!

      He could also be a Sikh.

      1. A Sikh wouldn’t stand for that shit.

    2. Scottish and man skirt?

      1. Outstanding. I never considered that.

        The only problem is that the article mentions “ethnicity” and I doubt that would be applied to a Scotsman.

        1. It is only applicable to true ones.

    3. Libertarian, monocle, and diamond-headed cane?

  23. OT:

    Lion on lion violence at the Dallas Zoo.

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/enter…..71531.html

    I’d actually go to the zoo if I had a realistic chance of seeing something this interesting.

    1. lol

    2. So when is PETA scheduled to protest this murder of an innocent animal?
      When are the ‘animal rights’ groups going to demand justice and have the lion hauled off to jail?

  24. We hardly had time to miss you, Hugo Chavez

    1. What the fuck?

      adipocere RickyRat
      20 November 2013 2:36am

      Recommend
      14
      If you don’t think too hard about it, I suppose a “tinpot dictatorship” is exactly what you would see – it is certainly the impression that the western media works overtime to cultivate.
      If you bother to actually learn about the Bolivarian revolution, and would critically think past the reams of propaganda churned out, you would see the vicious lengths the US has gone to to undermine and sabotage what is perhaps the most democratic country currently in the world; you might actually understand why this is happening and have a different opinion. Or possibly not, some people are just callous by nature.

      VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

      1. Sheesh – claiming Bolivar as your adjective also demonstrates a partial view of history. Bolivar as Liberator is a pretty good story. Bolivar as blood-drenched slaughterer of political appointments, not so much.

      2. adipocere
        20 November 2013 2:16am

        Recommend
        18
        Maduro should have that treacherous little Capriles arrested. No country in the world would put up with an opposition figure’s constant scheming and plotting, and Venezuela shouldn’t either. Knock some capitalist heads together Maduro!

        That’s the highest rated comment on the page.

        The Guardian readership is horrible.

  25. Donald Sutherland wants to stir revolt. A real revolt. A youth-led uprising against injustice that will overturn the US as we know it and usher in a kinder, better way. “I hope that they will take action because it’s getting drastic in this country.” Drone strikes. Corporate tax dodging. Racism. The Keystone oil pipeline. Denying food stamps to “starving Americans”. It’s all going to pot. “It’s not right. It’s not right.

    1. I like that liberals simultaneously admit that Europe is in atrocious shape when they have to attack austerity, but then they claim that we should be more like Europe in every other way.

      Gee, maybe some of those other things are why Europe’s in such bad shape, huh progs?

    2. What a random list of grievances.

      1. Random is a good word for it. “And lines at starbucks are long and online petitions for the return of planters cheez balls go unheeded!” Thats how i read such lists. They’re as random as an observational humor standup routine but never funny

    3. I always have trouble finding numbers for US starvation. How many people in the US starve to death?

      Not how many people deal with hunger, because the leads to issues of loosey-goosey “food insecurity” fake statistics–but how many legitimately die because of lack of food?

      1. Better question: How many people died from lack of food in the year before foodstamps were introduced?

        I have yet to have a liberal prove to me that this was ever happening.

      2. I always assume those who starve to death are buried in the mass graves inside the secret FEMA camp network.

      3. Better questions: What’s the obesity rate of food stamp recipients? (Answer: About 10% higher than average.) What percentage of food stamp recipients smoke? What percentage of food stamp recipients can afford booze and recreational pharmaceuticals?

    4. Donald Sutherland sees a Republican:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo

    5. Keystone pipeline? WTF? It’s just a means to transport something I have no doubt you and your family use everyday, you brain dead fuck. If you get your revolution, I hope your intestines are the first to spill on the pavement.

    6. You really want to puke? Dig this:

      One reason The Hunger Games has been so successful ? the first film, directed by Gary Ross, made nearly three quarters of a billion dollars at the global box office ? is that the allegory can be read multiple ways. A critique, for instance, of central government trampling states’ rights. Sutherland instead sees a critique of Tea Party-led excesses but he does note a parallel between his character and Barack Obama, whom he supports. “I think he realises, like Coriolanus Snow realises, that to exert authority and to control a situation it is necessary to make certain expedient decisions that you would not normally make. I don’t think it’s in his nature to send Predator drones. I thought it was in his nature to get out of Guant?namo, but people prevented that. It’s not been easy for him to govern, because this is a very racist society.”

      1. *That was supposed to be an insert quote, but I fucked up the html.

      2. Donald Sutherland is the dumbest fucking human being on Earth.

        1. Oh I don’t know, he’s no Sean Penn or Jenny McCarthy.

          I think it’s refreshing to see a liberal explicitly admit that he’s cool with his Team cracking some skulls for the purpose of achieving their goals.

          1. !!Matt Damon

        2. Did you know that a movie about a maniacally overpowerful central gov’t is in fact a critique of a movement which seeks to radically restrict central gov’t power?

          1. Standard prog response:

            “Nuh-un! The Tea Party wants to replace the government with KKKorporations and a Koch Brother oligarchy!”

            1. Which still doesn’t make his argument make sense. That movie isn’t about an evil corporation that takes over the future, it’s about the government, period, full stop, the end.

              Also, I read the wiki summary when somebody told me there was a libertarian-ish ending to the book series, and was pleasantly surprised.

              The leader of the rebellion admits to having killed a bunch of innocent people in order to further the cause, but believes it was worth it to topple the gov’t. The main character then shoots her in the head for her duplicity.

              1. I didn’t say it was a good response, only that that’s what your average prog at Salon or Huffington Post would say. It’s not like they care if they make non-sequiturs.

              2. Maybe it was a govt instituted by corporations? Like Brawndo and Carl’s Jr in Idiocracy.

                1. Brawndo and Carl’s Jr. had to take over govt in Idiocracy because govt was so completely and idiotically inept. Personally, I think it would be an improvement if Aetna took over HHS, and I’ve had Aetna as an insurer and think it sucks. But it doesn’t suck as bad as Healthcare.gov.

              3. The main character shoots her in the head because the president of the new government wants to continue the Hunger Games using people from the old elites.

                1. So basically Death Race 2000 with bows and arrows instead of cars, and no T+A.

          2. Government is just something we do together.

            1. Like slavery, only with taxes!

      3. Obama has to drone people because of expedience. He couldn’t close Guantanamo because of racism. There’s nothing Il Douche could do to stop people like Sutherland from tongue-washing his balls.

        1. Il Douche. That’s worth remembering.

      4. …”a critique of Tea Party-led excesses”…

        Help me here; WIH is this guy talking about?
        Is it Obo’s brown-shirts that shut down national parks? Is it the SEKWESTER that cut a couple of percent from the growth in spending?
        What does this man see that I don’t?

      5. “I don’t think it’s in his nature to send Predator drones. I thought it was in his nature to get out of Guant?namo, but people prevented that. It’s not been easy for him to govern, because this is a very racist society”

        Soooo, he’s a really crappy leader b/c he can’t get people to do things he wants them to do? This would lead one to conclude that Bush, for all his evil, was a brilliant leader?

        1. No matter what, for Sutherland, his Team is on the side of the angels, and if the facts don’t fit the narrative, well, the narrative will just have to take a few odd turns, very odd turns, to get to where it is meant to be.

          1. True. I guess what I was getting at was that this brilliant leader, the greatest we’ve ever had can’t even manage to close Guantanamo which he could do by executive order if it was something he really wanted to do.

            I guess the implication for Team Blue is that there are powerful [secret] forces controlling the government. So, in some ways, the Team Blue narrative becomes a BF Conspiracy Theory.

    7. Tax avoidance and oil pipelines are very good reasons for a violent revolution, but drone strikes? Come on.

  26. THIS IS WHAT LIBERTOPIA LOOKS LIKE

    Boys in NYC play near a dead horse, 1900. pic.twitter.com/eeAXIi389Q

    ? History In Pictures (@HistoryInPics) November 20, 2013

    [removed][removed]

  27. The Brady Campaign knows what’s up.

    Did you know that internet guns make bad guys more able to do badder bad guy things? Well now you do, thanks to blatant propaganda the Brady Campaign is directing towards children.

    1. I actually thought they were going to be truthful for a second after the lollipop headed criminal failed the background check at the gun store. I thought they would show him getting a gun by stealing it or buying it from another criminal.

    2. If only we could just control the internet. Also, I like how none of the victims have any means of self-defense. If only there was some way…

    3. I don’t know about you, but I was impressed by that the Brady Campaign put forward its most learned intellectual to present a sophisticated argument without the usual banal appeal to emotion.

  28. Who hasn’t had this happen?

    Teen drinks too much… wakes up in Paris

    1. I’d drink Bud if I could wake up in Paris afterward! Well, let’s say Paris in 1890.

      1. With my luck, I’d end up in the Down and Out in Paris and London Paris. Or the 1895 Dreyfus Case Paris, or the 1870-71 Paris. Or the 1940 version. So on second thought, just let me have a Coke and wake up in Peoria.

        1. Or 1968 Paris…

          1. The coeds may have been Marxists, but they were loose.

    2. That’s far superior to drinking too much and discovering that burro shows aren’t an urban myth.

      1. And wake up next to that Thai hooker you slept with and noticing “her” junk…

  29. The world’s fastest, tallest waterslide is in Kansas

    Thrill seekers, get ready to take a plunge this spring at Schlitterbahn.

    A 17-story plunge.

    The Kansas City, Kan., water park is building the tallest, fastest water slide in the world. The Verr?ckt (German for insane) Meg-A-Blaster is scheduled to make its splash when the park opens May 23.

    New photos and a video on the company’s blog show the project taking shape, with the 17-story tower and precipitous drop in place, along with the raft conveyor.

    “Having the tallest water slide in the world is great not only for Schlitterbahn, but also for Kansas City,” said Layne Pitcher, marketing director for the park.

    Four-person rafts will plummet down from the tower and over a five-story hill. It’s not a “wedgie producing body slide,” the blog assures.

    Jeff Henry, Schlitterbahn co-owner and designer of the slide, said the precise height and speed of the ride will be revealed when the project is complete. But he says Verr?ckt will be higher than the current record holder, Insano at Beach Park in Fortaleza, Brazil, which is 134.5 feet tall and reaches 65.2 mph.

    I wonder how much this makes the liability insurance premiums for the park go up.

    1. Didn’t realize Schlitterbahn expanded to Kansas.

      Back in the day I rode on several water park rides that most certainly wouldn’t be legal over here at Fantasy Island on Sentosa including one that killed people. They had a one steep like that except it had a whole row of slides together and you just zoomed down on a mat with people regularly taking flight and crashing into other people’s lanes. It was fucking fun.

      1. The best water park in the world ever was in Vang Vieng, Laos. The rides weren’t sophisticated, but the bars — as well as smoke and shrooms — on either side of the river made up for it. However, the casualty rate was too high even for a country with few tort lawyers. The government cracked down, and the party is over.

  30. It’s late and I don’t feel like subjecting my neurons to too much heavy lifting, but I’ve got a dumb little devil’s advocate I’d like to pose.

    Let’s say a hetero Christian couple in New Mexico is trying to recruit some photographers for their wedding by posting a classified ad on online. Two lesbian life partners that happen to own a photo studio reply to their solicitation with an attractive bid but are declined explicitly due to the hetero couple’s objection to homosexuality. Would this ruling then enable the lesbian couple to file suit in an attempt to forcefully secure the bid?

    1. “Civil Rights” laws apply to businesses, not consumers. Maybe here and there you can find some sort of “anti-boycott law,” but in general consumers can discriminate in ways businesses can’t.

      1. They actually only apply to businesses of public accommodation.

      2. Except businesses discriminate all the time too. They just get in trouble when it’s against a protected group

    2. The hetero couple isn’t a business of accomodation so the law doesn’t apply to them.

      Now, if they had passed a law saying that you couldn’t discriminate against wedding photogs based on sex-orient that would be an interesting case.

  31. Apparently ol’ Dubya’s on the Leno program.
    Do any dare watch?

    1. Only if my other favorite show, which is *nothing,* isn’t on.

    2. Just tuned in

      “In Canada a turducken is a crack rock stuffed inside a bottle of booze stuffed inside the mayor of Toronto.”

      going to check out Almost Human on the DVR

    3. Dubya has kept his hands in front of his crotch until they’ve talked about his painting, though he put them back.

    4. Dubya: I hope America will be in Afghanistan a long time.

  32. With the institution and constitutional acceptance of Obamacare and its ability to allow the government to force certain transactions upon private people, which is what the constitution explicitly condemns, what’s stopping law from forcing interactions between private people?
    Somehow this comment section comments spiralled into comparing an interaction between an adult and child (abortion) to three adults (photographer-couple).
    The ACLU is completely in the wrong here.

  33. It’s the 9 and 3/4 amendment

  34. Rather than fight in court, the photographer could just yield and take a bunch of shitty pictures – cut off tops of their heads in framing, unfocus, etc. etc

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