Legal

Wedding Cakes Are Not Free Speech, But…

Thus, by applying that principle, the wedding-cake controversy disintegrates. Bakers have the right to bake a cake for whomever they want and for whatever reason they want. It might well be that they hate blacks, Jews, immigrants, and poor people. Motive doesn’t matter. What matters is that under principles of liberty and private property, private business owners have as much right to discriminate as private homeowners.

By the same token, consumers have the right to boycott the business that is discriminating against others and to advocate that other people boycott it as well. That’s how the free market deals with businesses that people perceive are wrongfully discriminating against others. It nudges them to change their position through loss of sales revenues rather than force them to do so with the power of a government gun.

The problem, however, is that long ago the U.S. Supreme Court held that when people open their businesses to the public, everything changes. The Court held that when business owners do that, they subject themselves to governmental control, including state anti-discrimination laws.

But that’s ridiculous. Why should the fact that a person is selling privately owned things to others cause the principles of liberty and private property to be compromised or abandoned? Why shouldn’t the business owner still be free to discriminate in determining who enters his privately owned business and to whom he sells his private property?

By abandoning those principles of liberty and private property, it has naturally left lawyers vexed on how to resolve the wedding-cake dispute. It has left them relying on the First Amendment to come up with entirely subjective and arbitrary conclusions that have no consistent underlying legal principle undergirding them.

via Wedding Cakes Have Nothing To Do With Free Speech | Zero Hedge

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