Yesterday, I spoke about Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky to the student chapter of the Federalist Society at Santa Clara University School of Law. Dean Brad Joondeph provided commentary. Here’s a transcript of my remarks:
The week of February 26th will be a huge week for the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has just announced that it will hear argument in three important First Amendment cases that week.
American Thinker has published my op-ed on PLF’s cert petition in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. I begin the piece by explaining the importance of expression at the polling place:
The American polling place. It’s one of the iconic symbols of American freedom. Whether it be the local high school gymnasium, a meeting room at the public library, or a neighbor’s garage, the polling place is a hallowed space where citizens of all backgrounds and beliefs come together to discharge the defining privilege of a democracy — the exercise of the franchise.
The Supreme Court will be back in session in just under two weeks. The Court already has one big First Amendment case on its docket, and might be adding a few more in the next few weeks.
In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Court will decide whether Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which requires a cake artist to design custom cakes for same-sex weddings, violates the compelled speech doctrine of the First Amendment. The Cato Institute recently filed a brief in support of the bakery, arguing that “although making cakes may not initially appear to be speech to some, it is a form of artistic expression and therefore constitutionally protected.” Cato’s brief is one of nearly 50 briefs (by my quick count) in support of the bakery. These 50 briefs include one from the United States, which argues that the Colorado Law violates the First Amendment because the law “compels someone to create expression for a particular person or entity and to participate . . . in a ceremony or other expressive event.” Colorado is scheduled to file its brief next month, and we’ll see how many friend-of-the court briefs it gets in its favor. Given the magnitude of this case, I’m guessing there will be many.