”Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandies noted, “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but ,without understanding.” While such things as Freedom of Speech are under assault by dupes of Marxist professors, the foundations of tyranny have already been laid by those seeking to dictate personal conscience through legislation.
In the 1950s the Republicans fought tooth and nail to get decent Civil Rights legislation passed. After a failed attempt in 1956, a water down Voting Rights Act passed in 1957. While it was less than what was wanted, it put the first nails in the Jim Crow coffin. Lyndon Johnson, although it was the first Civil Rights legislation he had ever voted for, complained bitterly that “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness.” In 1964, Johnson as President signed another piece of Civil Rights legislation. This one included a poison clause, a provision that ceded power over private contracts to the government.
The Public Accommodation Provision was opposed by many of the Republican Party’s civil rights leaders, the most prominent being Barry Goldwater. They understood that Jim Crow was wrong not just because it discriminated against people of color, but because it mandating they had to. The new law, while seemingly righting a wrong, was equally evil in that it mandated business people couldn’t choose who to associate or make contracts with. For a business to voluntarily restrict patronage was determined to be illegal. A law that interferes with basic rights of association, conscience, or personal relationships, is no less reprehensible when the object is honorable than when it is not. When the Supreme Court heard a case objecting to the interference in personal contracts, it found that the federal government had the right to dictate whatever it wanted to business under the Commerce Clause. If you rely on public roads for your business, the ludicrous ruling stated, you are subject to control by the Federal Government under the Commerce Clause. Of course, there was no part of the clause that allowed such Draconian intervention, but that did not stop the leftest Warren lead Court from inventing it!
Now the Public Accommodation Clause of the 64 Civil Rights Act looms large as a new case comes before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is being asked if a Christian baker, Masterpiece Bakeshop, must put aside his faith and make a wedding cake for a homosexual activist. The court, who recently decided Hobby Lobby could exercise its conscious, must decide if the bakers can exercise theirs. In a similar case involving Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled last week that freedom of religion and association take a back seat to the leftest agenda. Essentially, the court’s ruling determined Christians, that believe marriage can only be between a man and a woman, can’t run businesses like bakeries, photography studios, caterers, or even have churches in Oregon.
The United States Supreme Court, in the Hobby Lobby decision, danced around the Obamacare mandates legal basis. The mandate supporters pointed to the commerce clause, as the Warren Court had, to justify the government’s overreach. It will have a harder time sidestepping the government’s power grab via the Commerce Clause in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
The constitution is clear, even if the rulings interpreting it are not. The government has no right to determine how, and with whom, a business decides to make contracts with. The right of contract is basic, and closely aligned with the right of association. Every sale of a service or good is a contract. Even buying a hotdog from a street vendor. A sale price set, and a service or good rendered for that price. If the sale violates one’s conscious, it is the right of either party not to enter into the agreement. The public accommodation clause violates this basic tenant of freedom, as well as Common and Natural Law.
It is doubtful the Supreme Court would nullify the previous court ruling on the Public Accommodation Clause of the Civil Rights Act, but it should. More than likely, it will either dance around the subject like it did with Hobby Lobby, or worse, reinforce the slide towards tyranny.
The stage was set for this battle in 1964, when government overreach was justified to prevent abominable behavior by a few racist business owners. Now that same overreach threatens Christianity itself. If upheld, the constitution is toast. The acceptance of reinterpreting the Constitution according to, as Woodrow Wilson put it, Darwinian principals will be complete. If the government can dictate conscience, and direct association, it can do anything it wants. The orignalists on the court are still in the minority, with Kennedy, as usual, providing the swing vote. This is a case to watch in 2018. The decision is expected to be announced sometime in June.