Supreme Court rules for Texas redistricting plans

28 June, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Brendan Dassey is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said there is no evidence of hostility against religion in Stutzman's case.

In Stutzman's case, the Washington State Supreme Court must now interpret whether she was treated fairly when the court first heard her case.

That leaves unresolved the central dispute between proponents of gay rights and religious objectors: whether anti-discrimination laws in 22 states can require creative artists to serve same-sex weddings against their beliefs.

"The government has no authority to force Americans like Barronelle to engage in speech and events with which they morally disagree". The bottom line, though, is that even though the lower court ruled districts in and around Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio had been drawn to minimize minority voting power, the Supreme Court only agreed about one state legislative district. They would have preferred to see that opinion remain on the books to influence other lower court judges considering similar cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Republicans in Texas and North Carolina on Monday in two more cases on the contentious issue of politicians manipulating electoral district boundaries for political gain, known as gerrymandering.

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In 2017, the lower court in Washington had ruled that Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, about 320 km southeast of Seattle, had violated the state's anti-discrimination law and a consumer protection measure by refusing to create the flower arrangements.

The 5-4 decision comes nine months after Democrats had celebrated lower court rulings that invalidated parts of Texas's electoral maps and a revised voter ID law.

The Supreme Court issued two gerrymandering rulings last week on narrow legal grounds in cases involving Wisconsin and Maryland but both those disputes involved allegations that districts were configured for partisan gain rather than for racial discrimination. "The court today seems to minimize the chances that these remedies are going to be effective in future cases", he said.

Monday's decision from Supreme Court, reported by the Associated Press, means they are passing, for now, on deciding whether business owners can use religious beliefs to refuse service to LGBT people who are protected by anti-discriminatory laws. "This case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases in the 1960s were about access to sandwiches", the court said, quoting from the plaintiffs' brief.

On the surface, the North Carolina case doesn't appear to have the same problem the high court identified in the Wisconsin lawsuit.

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Attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute likes what the U.S. Supreme Court did this week with the Stutzman case.

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee echoed a similar sentiment in a press release of his own.

Stutzman says she is very grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed her case to continue.

Waggoner said that the precedents set by Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission provided an outline that supported Stutzman's side.

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