Posted 63 days ago
Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett is facing calls to recuse herself due to her Christian faith from an upcoming case involving a web designer’s handling of wedding websites for LGBTQ clients.
Former members of People of Praise, a network of lay Christian communities founded in 1971 in South Bend, Indiana, spoke to The Guardian arguing that Barrett should recuse herself from the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Aubrey Elenis. The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on Dec. 5.
Barrett, a devout Catholic, has not spoken publicly about her affiliation with the secretive faith group People of Praise, which considers her a member. Conservatives argued that Barrett’s faith was wrongfully weaponized during her 2020 confirmation hearings, when the Trump appointee told senators her personal religious beliefs would not interfere with her abilities to be an unbiased judge.
Nevertheless, the justice’s affiliation with the group is being brought up again.
“I don’t believe that someone in her position, who is a member of this group, could put those biases aside, especially in a decision like the one coming up,” Maura Sullivan, a 46-year-old raised in a People of Praise community, told The Guardian. Sullivan, who identified as bisexual, said she came out at 19 and her parents cut her off and prevented her from spending time alone with a younger sister. They have since rekindled their relationship after the parents left the People of Praise community.
The case of 303 Creative LLC v. Aubrey Elenis involves Lorie Smith, owner and founder of a graphic design firm, who wants to post a statement saying she will not take on clients requesting wedding website designs for same-sex couples, as gay marriage conflicts with her religious beliefs.
The court will deliberate whether the Colorado AntiDiscrimination Act, which prohibits businesses that are open to the public from discriminating on the basis of numerous characteristics, including sexual orientation, violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Smith maintains that she has worked with LGBTQ clients on other projects that don’t conflict with her religious beliefs.
“A win for Lori would not only be a win for her, it would also be a win for the LGBT graphic designer who doesn’t want to be forced to create art and promote messages that they disagree with,” Smith’s lead attorney, Kristen K. Waggoner, told the Washington Examiner.... (Read more)