Friday, June 30, 2023

A Really, Really Bad Week!

The Supreme Court handed down some really bad cases this week starting with…
Prosecutors must show that a person responsible for threats understood the threatening nature of that speech, justices say
Washington Post
By Ann E. Marimow and Robert Barnes
June 27, 2023

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the conviction of a man who made extensive online threats to a stranger, saying free speech protections require prosecutors to prove the stalker was aware of the threatening nature of his communications.

In a 7-2 ruling with Justice Elena Kagan writing for the majority, the court emphasized that true threats of violence are not protected by the First Amendment. But to guard against a chilling effect on non-threatening speech, the majority said, states must prove that a criminal defendant has acted recklessly, meaning that he “disregarded a substantial risk that his communications would be viewed as threatening violence.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined in part by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, agreed with the outcome but expressed concern about the risk of cracking down on speech that is unintentionally threatening. She worried that the ruling could lead, for instance, to a high school student going to prison for sending another student violent music lyrics.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett dissented from the majority, with Barrett writing that the standard set by the court on Thursday gives “preferential treatment” to a broad range of threatening speech and makes it more difficult for law enforcement to address actual threats.
I’m surprise that I am on the side of the conservative judges, I’ll tell what I worry about someone not taking the threat seriously and it turns out to be real.

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Sydney Kashiwagi, Matt Meyer and Tori B. Powell
June 29, 2023

Here's what you should know about the Supreme Court's landmark decision on affirmative action
From CNN's Ariane de Vogue, Devan Cole and Tierney Sneed

The Supreme Court says colleges and universities can no longer take race into consideration as a specific basis for granting admission, a landmark decision overturning long-standing precedent that has benefited Black and Latino students in higher education.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the conservative majority, saying the Harvard and University of North Carolina admissions programs violated the Equal Protection Clause because they failed to offer “measurable” objectives to justify the use of race.

He said the programs involve racial stereotyping and had no specific endpoint.

The opinion claims the court was not expressly overturning prior cases authorizing race-based affirmative action, and suggested that how race has affected an applicant’s life can still be part of how their application is considered.

I saved the worst for last!
By Steve Inskeep & Nina Totenberg
June 30, 2023

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines that the First Amendment bars Colorado from "forcing a website designer to create expressive designs speaking messages with which the designer disagrees."
These three rulings made for a really great week for bigotry and discrimination!


  1. In the Colorado case, the web designer and the state of Colorado stipulated to the facts in the case. Procedurally, the plaintiff sought and had been granted an injunction. It didn't happen because that was exactly the case's procedural posture.

    It should be pretty simple for anyone to distinguish between cases involving equal access to public accommodations such as denying access to public transportation on the basis of race or denying access to universities that accept federal funds on the basis of race, and cases involving government-mandated expression. Courts will look very critically at cases involving regulation of freedom of expression. And it's really not that difficult to contrast those cases with equal access to public facilities. How should a court decide a case involving a web designer's website if the government required that web designer to publish information about medical studies in Europe and their findings regarding negative effects of physically transitioning children on the premise of discrimination based on sex (or any other basis)?

    1. The thing is the Constitution is not just the First Amendment. There is also the Fourteenth Amendment that says “...provided all citizens with ‘equal protection under the laws,’ extending the provisions…”

      This case is not the first court case on this topic.

      There was something called the Lemon Test which looked at the neutrality of the law to religion.
      The Supreme Court used use the three-pronged Lemon test when it evaluates whether a law or governmental activity violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment that was precedent for over 50 years. This court ignored court ruling since the beginning of our country, many times that court had to rule on the separation of church and state and also on the First Amendment.

      Also this case is based on something that never happened… it is only “What if?”

      For a civil or criminal trail you need two things Plaintiff/Victim and a defendant. In a normal discrimination case there is the person who was discriminated against and the person or business that did the discrimination, and it victim who usually files a complaint. The victim has to establish that he was wronged or was harmed and that means the plaintiff “Has Standing.”

      She never was denied anything. The state refused to give her the injunction because she did not do anything that warranted an injunction. She was never asked to write a webpage for a client. She never refused to write a webpage for anyone. The state never got a complaint from someone about being discriminated against. The state never even ordered the webpage down since it was never up.

      This was a completely manufactured case. I do not see how she was “harmed” in any way.

  2. I have been horrified by the SCOTUS rulings this week.