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303 Creative LLC v. Elenis

Introduction: 

A Colorado law bans businesses from discriminating on the basis of several characteristics, including sexual orientation. This includes making any statements or publishing communications that state someone with such characteristics will not be served. What happens if a wedding website designer wishes to state that she will not provide her services to same-sex couples? Is the state unconstitutionally preventing her from exercising her freedom of speech? In early December 2022, the Supreme Court took up these questions. How do you think the court will decide?  

Handouts: 

Handout A: First Amendment to the Constitution
Handout B: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis

Directions:

Read the text of the First Amendment and then visit the Ballotpedia page on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis to learn more about the case. Complete the following questions as you read. 

Questions: 

  1. What does “freedom of speech” mean to you? 
  2. In your own words, what does the Colorado Antidiscrimination Act (CADA) state? 
  3. How did the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rule on this case? Explain the court’s reasoning. 
  4. There is often a focus on the political end results of Supreme Court decisions, without considering the validity of the actual constitutional reasoning of the Justices. Do you believe that CADA violates Smith’s freedom of speech? Why or why not?