Thursday, December 28, 2017

Searching for a limiting principle

Kevin Williamson writes about the Masterpiece Cakeshop cake: "The slope is, in fact, slippery."
Telling a black man that he may not work in your bank because he is black is in reality a very different thing from telling a gay couple that you’d be happy to sell them cupcakes or cookies or pecan pies but you do not bake cakes for same-sex weddings — however much the principle of the thing may seem superficially similar. If the public sphere is infinite, then the private sphere does not exist, and neither does private life. Having a bakery with doors open to the public does not make your business, contra Justice Harlan, an agent of the state. A bakery is not the Commerce Department or the local public high school.
A relevant precedent mentioned in the story is Wickard v. Filburn.  Farmer Filburn was minding his own business, growing wheat on his farm for private use, when the government told him he violated a government crop support program.  Thus, somehow, since everything is "public" action since it affects commerce and policy everywhere, there's no room for "private" action.

3 comments:

William F. Butthead said...

Kevin Williamson writes about the Masterpiece Cakeshop cake: "The slope is, in fact, slippery." Telling a black man that he may not work in your bank because he is black is in reality a very different thing from telling a gay couple that you’d be happy to sell them cupcakes or cookies or pecan pies but you do not bake cakes for same-sex weddings — however much the principle of the thing may seem superficially similar.


Telling a black man that he may not work in your bank because he is black is in reality a very similar thing as owning a store that accommodates the public but refusing to serve a black man because he is black. As another relevant precedent, Lester Maddox, discovered to his dismay half a century ago.

In 1964-65, Maddox also cited his religious beliefs as a reason for opposing integration of his restaurant. At that time, the same National Review called support for Maddox's commercial bigotry “theoretically and morally inexplicable.” The slope isn't what has slipped.

Rich Thomas said...

If I, as an independent tradesman in a free society, am no longer legally able to decide who I choose to work for, and what jobs or commissions I will or won't take, for ANY reason or NO reason...then I am no longer an independent tradesman in a free society.

I am a slave.

Bread Scott said...

Anyone who values their feels over the explicit text in public accommodation laws, such as the ones in Oregon or Colorado, must not believe in states' rights.

Oregon:
(1) ...All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is of age, as described in this section, or older.
...
(3) It is an unlawful practice for any person to deny full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation in violation of this section.


More importantly, anyone who thinks selling cakes is slavery deserves to be chained and whipped.