Supreme Court

Did the Supreme Court Roll Back Gay Rights and Civil Rights?

Join Reason on YouTube and Facebook Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern for a live discussion of the Court's recent rulings on affirmative action and same-sex wedding services.


In two much-anticipated decisions, the Supreme Court struck down the use of race-based affirmative action in college admissions and upheld the right of a web designer to decline to create products celebrating same-sex marriages.

Writing for the 6–3 majority in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, Chief Justice John Roberts said that when it came to admissions at public and private universities, "Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it…. The student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race."

In 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the 6–3 majority that the government can't compel expression. "The opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong," he said. "Tolerance, not coercion, is our Nation's answer" to differing points of view.

Are these good decisions from a libertarian point of view? Do they expand freedom or legitimize discrimination against minorities? What will the actual effects be in terms of college admissions and retail commerce?

Join Nick Gillespie, the Cato Institute's Walter Olson, and podcaster Coleman Hughes for a live, freewheeling discussion of two of the most controversial Court rulings in years.

Watch and leave questions and comments on the YouTube video above or on Reason's Facebook page.