when the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper?

http://tribuneherald.net

A Georgia court has ruled in favor of Marshall Saxby, the Grand Wizard of a local KKK chapter, in a lawsuit stemming from two years ago when a local bakery denied him service.

The three judge panel concluded unanimously that the bakery had violated civil rights laws by discriminating against Saxby when they refused to sell him a cake for his organization’s annual birthday party.

Elaine Bailey, who owns Bailey Bakeries, refused to bake a cake for the ceremony because it violated her religious beliefs.

Saxby filed the lawsuit claiming that Bailey’s refusal of service was discriminatory against his religious beliefs.

The case is similar to the recent decision in New Mexico where a court has ruled that a photographer discriminated against a gay couple for refusing to provide them service.

It is wrong to force photographers to photograph against their will.

It is wrong to force bakers to decorate and sell cakes against their will.

I am sympathetic to the idea of "thick" rights. The problem is that I don't see how we can create them with out using force to infringe other people's more fundamental rights.

Last 5 posts by Clark

Comments

  1. Ankylosaurus says

    Would it be wrong to require businesses to behave in a certain way in exchange for the privilege of limited liability? Who is being forced to make the cake, Elaine Baily or Bailey Bakeries?

  2. Kevin Kirkpatrick says

    When people attempt to argue against legal recognition of gay marriage by linking to fake news articles about some guy being allowed to legally marry his pet goat, I don't feel much motivation to hear them out further.

  3. Dan says

    Hang on, I'm not a lawyer, but isn't it legal to refuse service unless someone is a member of a "protected class"? I don't think being a member of the KKK is really a religious belief. What are their chances of actually winning this case?

    Clark: Thanks for clearly stating your point :) Here's a question for you… if it were up to you, would you repeal the Civil Rights act today?

  4. Steve K says

    Either Clark isn't aware that the Tribune Herald is related to The Onion, i.e., fake, or this is (bad) "Satire Saturday", and it's another crappy attempt at being clever (see Patrick Non-White post above).

  5. John L says

    I agree that neither photographer nor baker should be forced to sell against their will, but I'm not thrilled about the idea of being refused by my pharmacist.

  6. Alex says

    Really Clark? Quoting from a "news website" that publishes articles about Nolan Ryan coming out of retirement to play again in 2013?

  7. Bob Brown says

    This is a question of liberties, which impose no obligation on others, or at most a negative obligation, and claim rights which impose a positive obligation on others.

    The right to life is a liberty. The only obligation my right to life imposes on others is not to kill me, or at least not to do so gratuitously. (My right to life does not impose an obligation on others to feed me, or even to rescue me if I'm drowning.)

    The "right" to a cake, or a photograph,is a claim right in that it imposes a positive obligation on another. (So is the "right" to medical care.) Claim rights come from morals and religion, and from government. When they come from morals and religion, they are voluntarily accepted, and good. When they come from government, they are imposed from without, and bad.

  8. Marconi says

    The problem is that I don't see how we can create them with out using force to infringe other people's more fundamental rights.

    A subtle satirical piece being essential for proof by anecdotal irrelevance, the right not to bake for anyone shall not be infringed.

    Today, you make Sally sell a cake to Marshall, tomorrow you force Marshall to sell a condom to Sally's lover. Where does it all stop?

  9. Marconi says

    The problem is that I don't see how we can create them with out using force to infringe other people's more fundamental rights.

    A subtle satirical piece being essential for proof by anecdotal irrelevance, the right not to bake for anyone shall not be infringed.

    Today, you make Sally sell a cake to Marshall, tomorrow you force Marshall to sell a condom to Sally's lover. Where does it all stop?

  10. says

    1. It's funny that people are so lost to the point that they think Clark thought the article was real news.

    2. The hypothetical in the satirical article was addressed explicitly in the New Mexico decision I wrote about a while ago.

  11. says

    r this is (bad) "Satire Saturday", and it's another crappy attempt at being clever (see Patrick Non-White post above).

    Refunds at the booth. Door's to your left. We'll miss your substantive contributions.

  12. BBnet3000 says

    I wasnt aware that racists were a protected class. Youre setting up a false equivalency between these cases. The civil rights law exists for many good reasons.

  13. Jo says

    Ah, sigh. Look, one can't run a business in this country without taking advantage of vast amounts of publically funded infrastructure. One needs courts for contract enforcement, police for property protection, roads to travel on, working banks to facilitate payment, and on and on and on. Businesses are subsidized extensively by the state in this way because their existence is a public good. Because businesses are subsidized they can be forced to accept certain limitations on their freedom of action to make sure that they're generally a net positive for the public. The public has decided, through its elected representatives, that refusing to serve certain people for certain reasons makes businesses a net negative and has therefore forbidden them to do this. You don't like this particular limitation on businesses, so you should definitely advocate for its elimination, but when you say things like "It is wrong to force photographers to photograph against their will" you're confusing the issue. No one can force the photographer to photograph. They can force the photographer to photograph if the photographer wants to keep accepting the many, many benefits and subsidies provided to his photography business/.

  14. Ankylosaurus says

    I apologize for being guilty of this. I should have seen no comments, listened to the Admiral Ackbar in my head, and done some more digging.

    But wait…

    Is this opposite day satire or opposite opposite day satire? (or opposite^(2n) day or opposite^(2n+1) day?) Or does Clark mean that he supports my right to be thick? Which I seem to need.

  15. Xenocles says

    I'd like to offer this passage for the blog admins to appropriate for their own use (modified for clarity and modern style):

    "[Blogs] and dished have this common fate: there was never any one of them that pleased all palates. In truth, it is a thing as little to be wished for as expected, for universal applause is at least two-thirds of a scandal. Though [we] deliver up these [posts] to [Wordpress], [we] invite no man to read them; whosoever reads and repents it is his own fault. To conclude, as [we] made this composition principally for [ourselves], so it agrees exceedingly well with [our] constitution – yet if any man has a mind to take part with [us] he has free leave and welcome. But let him carry this consideration along with him: he is a very unmannerly guest who presses upon another's table and then quarrels with his dinner."

    (From the postscript to Roger L'Estrange's edition of Seneca's Letters, 1673)

  16. Ankylosaurus says

    I also am bad with block quotes. That should have been (I think):

    Quote from Ken:
    1. It's funny that people are so lost to the point that they think Clark thought the article was real news.

    Me:
    I apologize for being guilty of this. I should have seen no comments, listened to the Admiral Ackbar in my head, and done some more digging.

    Quote from Clark:
    It is wrong to force photographers to photograph against their will.

    It is wrong to force bakers to decorate and sell cakes against their will.

    I am sympathetic to the idea of "thick" rights. The problem is that I don't see how we can create them with out using force to infringe other people's more fundamental rights.

    Me:
    Is this opposite day satire or opposite opposite day satire? (or opposite^(2n) day or opposite^(2n+1) day?) Or does Clark mean that he supports my right to be thick? Which I seem to need.

  17. David C says

    I wasnt aware that racists were a protected class. Youre setting up a false equivalency between these cases.

    I'm not discriminating against this person because they are Jewish, I'm discriminating against them for their belief that they are the chosen race of God. I'm not discriminating against this person because they are Muslim, I am discriminating against them because they believe women should have their heads covered in public.

    Sometimes other people's religions include beliefs that we do not agree with, or even find offensive. Does that make it OK to discriminate against them?

  18. Shane says

    @Jo

    … roads to travel on, working banks to facilitate payment, and on and on and on. Businesses are subsidized extensively by the state in this way because their existence is a public good.

    You're not from around these parts.

  19. David C says

    They can force the photographer to photograph if the photographer wants to keep accepting the many, many benefits and subsidies provided to his photography business.

    Except the photographer cannot:

    1) Decline the "subsidies".
    2) Just work for someone else with similar beliefs (because this other person would be under the same restrictions.)
    3) Not work (they'd need money to pay property taxes if they owned the place they lived, or money to pay rent if they did not.)

    I'd also point out that you're double-charging this business. They ALREADY pay taxes for the things you mention. The business likely pays for the road and sidewalk directly in front of it via a direct assessment. They collect sales tax, they pay property tax, they pay corporate income tax; they pay whatever other taxes anybody else pays. And now you're imposing an additional charge that says they cannot follow their conscience. That's unacceptable.

    Because businesses are subsidized they can be forced to accept certain limitations on their freedom of action to make sure that they're generally a net positive for the public.

    Individuals are "subsidized" in the same way, you know. I can drive down that road in my car, I can get an FDIC insured savings account, I can get the police to arrest a burglar and I can get the courts to hear my case (if I pay the filing fee). You fail to state why businesses are different in this regard than individuals.

    And if you say it's because of limited liability, then what about those people who run a business who do NOT incorporate?

  20. Crusty the Ex-Clown says

    Hypothetical situation belong in moot court. Oh wait – you mean moot court is in session already? I'm outta here…..

  21. Jo says

    @David: Not being able to opt out isn't important to the argument as it's universal and unavoidable. In this actually existing country we live in neither people nor businesses can opt out of requirements they disagree with. I don't like everything they spend my taxes on, but I still have to pay all of them, and even when I don't like it I can see why it's necessary that opting out isn't allowed.

    But more importantly, as to your double charging argument. I'm thinking of businesses like concessions. My local farmers market charges people to put up booths, because the market is providing the service of attracting a customer base and organizing an environment in which business can be conducted efficiently. The predictable presence of a customer base and a workable environment for doing business with them is valuable property which can be bought and sold. The farmers market reserves the right to control the behavior of the vendors so that it doesn't harm the interests of the market. It's the same thing with businesses operating under a government that's a proxy for the people. The people are the customer base, provided by themselves, the owners of the property consisting in their availability as customers, and so they have the right to regulate businesses so that the businesses don't harm the people's interests. That's all that's happening here. Businesses are different than individuals because they're being allowed to make money from a publicly owned resource, which is the people to sell stuff to, the environment in which to do so, and the right to sell the stuff.

    Now, the people who run the businesses are people too, and they have rights, and are only subject to regulation to the extent that those rights aren't violated. That's fine too, but it's a subject for debate as to the details. I don't think the principle is falsifiable in theory, only desirable or undesirable in actual practice. But they don't get to follow their conscience fully, no, because they are in fact getting something extra that individuals don't get. The right to use the infrastructure to sell to the public.

  22. Ankylosaurus says

    David C said:

    And if you say it's because of limited liability, then what about those people who run a business who do NOT incorporate?

    Me:
    I'm not a lawyer or business-type-person ("Obviously!" says the Popehat regular…), but at some level there is a line between a business and private individual. I agree to mow my neighbor's lawn if they pick my newspaper for me while I am on vacation. Is that a business? We are exchanging services. Would I have to mow the lawn of anybody that picked up my paper? I, personally, would draw the line between incorporeal incorporated legal entities (which can only be hurt by silver or +1 weapons) and living humans.

  23. whheydt says

    I think there is another subtlety that gets missed in the purported situation (whether real or fake riff on a real case).

    That is…Does one *really* want a wedding photographed or a cake baked by someone that hates your guts? Do you trust the people at the company you're hiring to operate in a professional manner and do their honest best to provide the top quality work or product when they don't like you and were forced to provide the service or goods?

    Which is to say, do you really *want* to hire someone that doesn't want your business?

    That said, any profession that the state, in its infinite wisdom, place requirements for education and licensing on (pharmacists, doctors, architects, engineers…lawyers) is, I think, a different matter. In those cases, I think the state can legitimately require that, as a matter of retaining ones license, one must accommodate anyone who can pay their bills and behaves in a civil manner.

  24. Doug says

    You need to do more of the John McCain-type articles. As for this one, I've spent a solid twenty minutes trying to figure out if this is satire or legitimate, and if so, what point is being made – unsuccessfully, I might add.

  25. Jo says

    @whheydt

    I think there is another subtlety that gets missed in the purported situation (whether real or fake riff on a real case).

    That is…Does one *really* want a wedding photographed or a cake baked by someone that hates your guts? Do you trust the people at the company you're hiring to operate in a professional manner and do their honest best to provide the top quality work or product when they don't like you and were forced to provide the service or goods?

    Maybe one doesn't, but you know, I lived in the South for many years, and I heard that same argument used against racial integration of businesses. Now it turns out that after 50 years of legally enforced civility in businesses, people don't actually hate each other as much as they used to and the children and grandchildren of the people who made that argument would be horrified on moral grounds rather than legal ones if businesses were to discriminate on the basis of race. So it's not as if people in some jurisdictions wanting to try out the same method by protecting homosexuals as a class are doing something crazy and without precedent. It's worked before and it may work again. Maybe it won't, but it's a matter of disagreement between reasonable people, not some foregone conclusion that can be decided by facile logic.

  26. AliceH says

    I find this all very entangling and frazzling, but perhaps even more twisty to my mind is, say, the different rules for a pharmacy that tries to opt out of selling birth control, vs. the pharmacy employee that refuses to serve customers of birth control. I don't know, but I think the former option is prohibited to the business, while the latter is an accommodation forced upon the business. Maybe there are better examples. Maybe someone knows what I'm trying to convey. I live in hope!

  27. David C says

    Not being able to opt out isn't important to the argument as it's universal and unavoidable.

    It's extremely important to the argument, since you seemed to think that this was easily avoided by simply not running a business.

    Whether it's avoidable is actually relevant to a discussion of liberties. The police can, apparently, stop my car for no reason. I can avoid this by not driving. I can be searched with no probable cause at the airport. I can avoid this by not flying. I can sign a NDA which infringes on my free speech rights – but I can also decline to sign it. I can't avoid the restrictions you are placing on me here, though, and that DOES make them worse than the restrictions placed by an easily avoidable farmer's market. (Well, technically I can avoid them by not working at all, but that involves starving or freezing to death, and don't try to tell me that that's acceptable.)

    a publicly owned resource, which is the people to sell stuff to, the environment in which to do so, and the right to sell the stuff.

    You're seriously claiming that "the people to sell stuff to" is a publicly owned resource? So I am a resource that the government can sell businesses the rights to (and in exchange the businesses must give up their rights of conscience)? Are you trying to give us nightmares here?

    And you can't say that individuals don't have "the right to sell the stuff". Garage sales or Craigslist ads are available for anyone.

    But they don't get to follow their conscience fully, no

    Well, at least we know where you stand. I for one will always say that this is, almost by definition, unconscionable.

  28. Ankylosaurus says

    @David C
    How do you feel about the extreme case on the other example? Even though you have a job, how will you avoid starving or freezing to death when no one will sell food, shelter, or energy to David C.'s because it is against their religion to perform these services for David C.'s? Part of this argument is about protecting individual freedoms, but the other end is about protecting minority groups from majority groups.

  29. David C says

    @Doug: You really don't see the point? I'll spell it out.

    If someone can be forced to photograph a gay wedding even though they don't want to, then what prevents someone from being forced to bake a KKK anniversary cake?

    This actually goes beyond simply discriminating against a class. It's not just that a gay person or a KKK member wanted a product or service. It's that the person is being forced to contribute to the celebration of something they find immoral. It's not just that they have to take pictures of a gay person – they have to attend and artistically portray a gay wedding. It's not just selling a cake to a KKK member – it's being forced to design and bake a cake celebrating such an organization.

    Well, maybe you think people should be forced to bake cakes for the KKK. Or maybe you think that the KKK is just a bad organization and of course people shouldn't have to design and bake cakes for them, but gay people are just fine and people should be forced to attend and photograph their weddings.

  30. Jo says

    It's extremely important to the argument, since you seemed to think that this was easily avoided by simply not running a business.

    I meant that it would be infringing on the rights of a photographer who was not running a business to require him to take photographs. I wasn't suggesting that the photographer should do it or that it was easy. The point is that there are laws and no one gets to opt out of them. Since this is universal across society it's not relevant. It's a base condition. The rest of your argument about liberty here is a straw man as far as my argument goes. I generally agree with you and am not arguing for any of the things you imply that I'm arguing against.

    You're seriously claiming that "the people to sell stuff to" is a publicly owned resource? So I am a resource that the government can sell businesses the rights to (and in exchange the businesses must give up their rights of conscience)? Are you trying to give us nightmares here?

    I'm seriously arguing this. It seems obviously true. The government is the people's agent in selling this property for the benefit of the people. Why is that problematic? You want to sell hot dogs at the baseball stadium? You have to pay the owners for access to the fans, in which the owners have a property interest. You want to sell sex toys at the baseball stadium? The owners probably don't want to let you do that because it degrades their property interest in the assemblage of fans.

    The government is of the people and for the people, so who else is supposed to act for the people in administering their collective property rights in their own existence? Whether you agree with them or not, laws preventing businesses from discriminating are an expression of the will of the people. You might argue that that's not true in practice, and you will be able to argue that effectively to some extent, but it's true in theory, and can be made more true in practice by political action. How is this nightmare-inducing?

    People selling stuff on Craigslist are generally subject to the same regulations as bricks-and-mortar businesses, although there's less enforcement at the margins because it's not efficient. If you think they're not, try placing a racially discriminatory job or rental ad there and see what happens.

    Well, at least we know where you stand. I for one will always say that this is, almost by definition, unconscionable.

    Look, I didn't say that they don't get to follow their conscience period, I said that if they want to run a business they don't get to follow it fully. This is actually quite normal. They run a video rental store, Clarence Thomas rents porn movies, they release their records to congress because their conscience directs them to, they're going to get in trouble if the jurisdiction has laws against it. Shouldn't they? There are already myriad ways in which people who accept privileges also accept concurrent limitations on their conscience. There's nothing that strange about this one.

    Like I said, I'm not really defending the particular law against discrimination here, although I do support it. I'm attacking the idea that this law can be criticized through a purely theoretical argument. Any theoretical argument that attacks this law attacks a huge swath of other laws too. If that's what you want to do, that's fine, but I think it's important to acknowledge that this is not just a simple case of the government telling a photographer that he has to take a photograph, as Clark seemed to imply that it was.

  31. whheydt says

    Re: Jo…

    I understand your point, all the more so for having lived through the Civil Rights movement and old enough to remember it–together with some of the more…interesting…aspects. Ever heard of "block busting"?

    I was not arguing that a wedding photographer or bakery shouldn't be held to public accommodations standards. That should be a matter of obtaining a retaining a business license. The point I was after is this: Would you trust a business where the proprietor strongly objects to what you are or what you believe or practice to actually provide a product or service of sufficient quality, particularly of a one-time event like a wedding, to warrant hiring that business?

    When it comes to general goods stores…grocery stores, furniture stores, hardware stores, and so on, if the people there don't like you it is less relevant, since they aren't *making* the goods they sell. If delivery is involved, there is recourse if the delivery can be shown to be deliberately botched or the goods delivered are not what was ordered. The goods in those cases are fungible. Wedding photos aren't. Cakes at a special event aren't.

    Basically, do you trust a photographer or baker not to sabotage your event, even if you get to sue them for it afterwards? They can't, after all, give you the event back to try again.

    In the sort of case where one is dependent on a business for this sort of service or goods, wouldn't putting the word out that they like to discriminate against selected groups be the better option within a legal framework that represents public accommodation?

  32. Rob says

    Doug • Sep 28, 2013 @10:29 am

    You need to do more of the John McCain-type articles. As for this one, I've spent a solid twenty minutes trying to figure out if this is satire or legitimate, and if so, what point is being made – unsuccessfully, I might add.

    Shorter Doug: I wish you to keep writing articles that confirm my world view, instead of writing articles that challenge them. Kthxbye.

    Jo • Sep 28, 2013 @10:30 am

    Maybe one doesn't, but you know, I lived in the South for many years, and I heard that same argument used against racial integration of businesses. Now it turns out that after 50 years of legally enforced civility in businesses, people don't actually hate each other as much as they used to and the children and grandchildren of the people who made that argument would be horrified on moral grounds rather than legal ones if businesses were to discriminate on the basis of race. So it's not as if people in some jurisdictions wanting to try out the same method by protecting homosexuals as a class are doing something crazy and without precedent. It's worked before and it may work again. Maybe it won't, but it's a matter of disagreement between reasonable people, not some foregone conclusion that can be decided by facile logic.

    Here's the thing, though: segregation in the south was enforced by the government. Had the government not been running around forcing businesses to segregate, it's likely that the vast majority would have desegregated on their own. Everyone's money spends the same, after all. The few that didn't would have been left on the economic wayside to starve.

  33. Jo says

    The point I was after is this: Would you trust a business where the proprietor strongly objects to what you are or what you believe or practice to actually provide a product or service of sufficient quality, particularly of a one-time event like a wedding, to warrant hiring that business?

    I totally agree. I probably wouldn't hire the photographer for my gay wedding for exactly that reason, and as much as I might flatter myself I can't say for sure that I'd have been brave enough to sit down at that lunch counter in Greensboro knowing that even if I were served the counterman might very well have spit in my food or worse. I just meant to say that if people are brave enough to put up a fight I want to support them, because future good might come of it.

    And yes, I know all about block-busting. I learned recently that in major cities black and white real-estate agents colluded with each other to bust blocks, thus getting rich off of people's racism. The government created conditions where that could happen by enforcing discriminatory covenants in deeds, which distorted the housing market, and then after Shelley v. Kraemer, created conditions which disallowed racist homeowners from following their consciences but which distorted the market much less. The whole subject is fascinating.

  34. Jo says

    Here's the thing, though: segregation in the south was enforced by the government. Had the government not been running around forcing businesses to segregate, it's likely that the vast majority would have desegregated on their own. Everyone's money spends the same, after all. The few that didn't would have been left on the economic wayside to starve.

    Why do you think that's true? Segregation was enforced by the government because an awful lot of people wanted it to and were making a ton of money off it (even some black people made money from legally enforced segregation, see e.g. above comment about block-busting). What reason is there to think it would whither away on its own? Profitable practices rarely do, regardless of how immoral they may be.

  35. David C says

    How do you feel about the extreme case on the other example? Even though you have a job, how will you avoid starving or freezing to death when no one will sell food, shelter, or energy to David C.'s because it is against their religion to perform these services for David C.'s?

    First of all, David C's are not a protected class, so presumably this would be perfectly legal? I'm not sure.

    I think there might be a difference between essential things like food and shelter, and nonessential things like wedding photographers and anniversary cakes. Fox example, in the case of housing, even private individuals are not allowed to discriminate. Now, while ideally I should be able to choose who I sell my house to, I can live with this restriction, because people NEED housing.

    Also, there may be a difference between forcing someone to sell something off the shelf to someone, and forcing them to actually attend and artistically portray a celebration of something they find immoral. Remember, they weren't denied because they were gay; they were denied because it was a gay wedding.

  36. En Passant says

    At a press conference following the groundbreaking decision, Grand Wizard Saxby daintily dabbed dark crumbs from his pointy pillowcase and announced "Although we won the court case, the cake is a lie. The burning cross candles were cute, but we ordered white chocolate. They delivered this Sacher-Masoch Torte. Our legal department will be seeking a full refund."

  37. Rob says

    Why do you think that's true? Segregation was enforced by the government because an awful lot of people wanted it to and were making a ton of money off it (even some black people made money from legally enforced segregation, see e.g. above comment about block-busting). What reason is there to think it would whither away on its own? Profitable practices rarely do, regardless of how immoral they may be.

    And desegregation only happened because the majority of public opinion turned against segregation. Had the government not led the charge, others would have, and they'd have made a great deal of profit for doing so. Boycotts against businesses that refused to desegregate would drive customers and money to those that did.

    The bakery and the photography businesses under discussion were never in danger of becoming national chains precisely because of their policies. Their business practices have already spawned boycotts, and the lack of capitol driven by those boycotts would preclude them from being able to expand, and potentially drive them out of business altogether.

  38. David C says

    am not arguing for any of the things you imply that I'm arguing against.

    I don't think I was trying to imply what you thought I was trying to imply.

    The point is that there are laws and no one gets to opt out of them.

    Except that some laws are unconstitutional.

    You have to pay the owners for access to the fans, in which the owners have a property interest.

    The team does not have a property interest in the fans, they have a property interest in their property. The owners can prevent some random person from selling hot dogs (or sex toys) in the stadium. The owners cannot shut down a bar across the street from the stadium just because the fans are buying food or other items there instead of the ones they sell in the stadium. Not even if the fans are sneaking out in the middle of the game to buy them; not even if the fans are ordering them via cell phone right there in the stadium. The team DOES NOT own the fans or the right to do business with them. The team owns the stadium and the parking lot. That's all.

    And the government most certainly does not own me.

    Whether you agree with them or not, laws preventing businesses from discriminating are an expression of the will of the people.

    So are laws REQUIRING discrimination. That wouldn't make them constitutional.

    They run a video rental store, Clarence Thomas rents porn movies, they release their records to congress because their conscience directs them to,

    Kind of a tangent, but if someone thinks that renting porn is immoral, why are they renting porn to people? And frankly, if releasing porn rental records is illegal, then the problem is with that law. In general, if a law causes large segments of the population to violate either the law or their conscience, something is probably wrong with that law.

    Look, I didn't say that they don't get to follow their conscience period, I said that if they want to run a business they don't get to follow it fully.

    Except when you say "run a business", you mean "run a business, or work for a business", because the employees can't do it either. So you can pretty much take off that "if".

  39. Alex says

    "That said, any profession that the state, in its infinite wisdom, place requirements for education and licensing on (pharmacists, doctors, architects, engineers…lawyers) is, I think, a different matter. In those cases, I think the state can legitimately require that, as a matter of retaining ones license, one must accommodate anyone who can pay their bills and behaves in a civil manner." -whheydt

    So, does that only apply to people who must have specific training to be licensed by the state rather than to anyone licensed by the state? Because otherwise, your idea would apply to every business owner (since they have to have a business license to operate). But maybe that's why the state, "in its infinite wisdom," requires a business license in the first place.

  40. Anonymous says

    I did not recognize the satirical piece for satire, and thought that it was an eminently sensible ruling – of course she didn't have the right to deny him service.

  41. Alex says

    Okay, all you people upset about the coercion or forcing of business people to serve people they don't want to serve, I have your answer for you (though you might not like it, because deep down it's about YOUR views being used appropriately, but you don't realize it). Here's the big thing about the requirements to serve people of a protected class: You don't have to do it. Just like any other person you don't want to serve, just don't serve them. What leads to government intervention is making a statement out of it. If you simply feel that it is immoral to participate in the celebration of a gay union, don't participate. No one, not even the government, will care. When they care is when you try to force your own viewpoints on others. When a business owner makes a point of saying, "I won't serve you because I find you to be subhuman/abhorrent/sinful," they are attempting to force their own views onto others. They are attempting, through denial of goods and services, to force a change. And that, according to your own statements about people being forced to do things they don't want to do by bullies, is wrong. So, is there an answer to that?

  42. Marconi Darwin says

    @Ken White

    1. It's funny that people are so lost to the point that they think Clark thought the article was real news.

    Or maybe it is disappointing that the satire did not "take." Kinda liike someone making a joke and the audience not getting it, or getting it and finding it unfunny.

    The point being:

    @Clark

    I am sympathetic to the idea of "thick" rights. The problem is that I don't see how we can create them with out using force to infringe other people's more fundamental rights.

    If one is not obliged to protect someone else's "thick" rights, then where is the logical justification for one to protect someone else's "fundamental rights"?

    Where do "fundamental rights" and "thick rights" come from, if not from the same source? Us, the people. Via invocation of God or Reason or Nature.

    Anarchy advocates should have the least amount of difficulty with this.

  43. David C says

    Alex, that might let you hide what you are doing for a little while, but it's not how the law works. It is not necessary for discrimination to be stated out loud. Why do you think every business asks for the race of all its applicants? So it can prove to the government that it is not discriminating. If it "just so happens" that every black candidate is turned down, that's not going to fly. And it's no different here.

    When a business owner makes a point of saying, "I won't serve you because I find you to be subhuman/abhorrent/sinful," they are attempting to force their own views onto others. They are attempting, through denial of goods and services, to force a change.

    Under that logic, boycotting a business for any reason would also be immoral. And we clearly have the right to boycott.

  44. Paul McG. says

    Someone criticized this as being motivated by a desire to see only posts that comport with a specific POV.

    I too lost about 20 minutes trying to verify whether or not this "news story" was real. In contrast, after about three sentences I realized the McCain story was a lampoon. This "lampoon" consisted almost entirely of a quote from another, linked web site — a website which seems not to regard the story as satire. Although I suppose it's possible that Herald Tribune is just the gosh darn funniest site I've ever seen and I'm just not hip enough to get the joke.

    Why was I trying to verify it? Why, to link to it in another blog comment, juxtaposed against the New Mexico ruling of course. But I thought I should investigate before making an ass of myself.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that an awful lot of people who investigate less carefully — and who are in sympathy of the political position of Mr. Clark (as I am, for the most part) — are doing exactly that, and embarrassing both themselves and more careful advocates of liberty.

    But no matter: they'll probably go write back to writing posts about how Lincoln was worse than Hitler anyway.

  45. Paul McG. says

    Yeah; and I still haven't figured out how to make the blockquotes work, and much appreciate the cite's refusal to allow me to edit my own post.

    I guess I should stop bitching and stop posting.

  46. Paul McG. says

    OK — so after ANOTHER 20 minutes, I realize that TribuneHerald probably IS one of the funniest websites I've ever seen.

    Why are you making me work so hard?

  47. Norm says

    Regardless of whether I have a "right" to not be refused service, I don't see why I would entrust my memories or food to someone who is actively opposed to helping me.

    I mean, if I were a baker, and I were serving the Grand Wiz under threat of a lawsuit, is there anything to obligate me to perform at my best? Assuming the contract didn't specify ingredients, couldn't I use a grape nut filling, or assign my dishwasher and let it be decorated in a way that would get me a post on cakewrecks?

    Providing service surely means you can't do anything illegal or negligent, but does it have to be good?

    And assuming the answer is no, why would you risk having your wedding photos or cake made by a person forced to serve you. Other than bringing a case, that is.

  48. says

    @Alex:

    Really Clark? Quoting from a "news website"

    In my previous post I made a reference to Doctor Venture from the Venture Brothers.

    It has recently been called to my attention that the Venture Brothers is not, in fact, a documentary about a super scientist and his two sons, but is in fact humorous entertainment.

    That entirely undercuts both my previous reference and the argument I was making, and thus I retract my previous post.

    And, with that said, I'm off to watch the espionage reality show "Archer".

  49. Malc. says

    I think a lot of these sorts of "questions" get terribly excited about trying to make a "bright line" rule, where something either is, or is not, OK.

    Reality isn't like that. The world is full of shades of gray, and at the end of the day the sort formulae that many (oddly, particularly libertarians) love to try to create fail because we have a system that is _designed_ to be interpreted by a jury, not by some set of rules. Granted, the legal system is so nasty that by the time a jury gets to interpret, vast amounts of misery have been dispensed and cash consumer, but the system is (and has been since the middle ages of English common law) designed to have people act as arbiters, not bright-line rules.

    So, as for the photographer, I don't believe they should have been compelled to photograph the gay wedding, because the service being hired is that of creative expression (i.e. First Amendment stuff). The pharmacist is not being hired to do anything artistic or creative, merely put the pills in the bottle and check against interactions (etc.). The baker is somewhere in between, and so (in my view) should be obliged to sell the KKK a "standard cake", but should not be required to design something unique for the racists scum (even if its based on the customer's specifications, implementing a design in frosting is a creative endeavor).

  50. Anony Mouse says

    If only the linked article gave some kind of indication on if it's satire or not.

    Tribune Herald is for satirical purposes only.

    Oh. Right then.

    Of course, the actual point the satire is making is found at the end of the article:

    Many wonder that if she had simply lied about her reasoning, would this have even been an issue. That leaves the question to the public, do they want discrimination to happen out in the open where people can pinpoint it, or do they want it to operate a cloaked manner where it happens but it’s hard to tell who is doing it?

  51. wgering says

    @Clark: I finished reading your post and I am neither confused nor incensed. It's no fun when you just say things with which I agree.

    BECAUSE HOW HARD IS IT TO POACH A GOD-DAMN EGG?!?

  52. TM says

    @malc

    The pharmacist is not being hired to do anything artistic or creative, merely put the pills in the bottle and check against interactions (etc.).

    Do business owners not have a right to determine what products they will stock? I'm not talking about a cvs employee here, but an independent pharmacist. Do they not have a right to determine what products they will and won't stock? If the state passes a law to allow medical marajuanna, should all pharmacies be required to stock and sell it? Or let's move out of the realm of medicine, should every sporting goods and outdoors shop be required to sell guns and ammunition? After all, the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the constitution itself, and the same argument that applies to forcing pharmacists to dispense against their will and judgement (what if they're the only pharmacist around, they're only being paid to put pills in a bottle) applies just as much to sporting goods stores (what if they're the only one around, they're only being paid to put products in a bag).

    This is a the problem I have with laws and defense of laws forcing people to act against their will. We're making a judgment call that says "this one product or thing is so important to other people that you should have no right whatsoever to refuse to participate in the distribution of that thing, merely by virtue of the fact that you dare to make a living selling other things."

  53. Tarrou says

    At the end, the side most people support has more to do with which sort of people they think are beyond-the-pale evil reprobates and who are "their" sort of folks. So the people who want every backward gap-toothed bible quoting cousin fucking hick to be forced, FORCED I SAY, to provide any and all services to gay people do so because they like gay people and hate christians, rural americans and the relatedly amorous. And those who disagree do so largely because they know and like those resourceful, moral and close-knit folk, and see gay people as nosing in, trying to force everyone to do things for them.

    And then there's people like me, who like both groups and think the best way for each to get along is not to be suing each other to force people to hang out with them. Seriously. If you are gay, do you really want a devout christian who thinks you're going to hell to commemorate your nuptials? Is photography really such a rarified skill that they could not find anyone else to do it? But this is America, where the social standards of reasonableness have been so eroded that we can't buy a cake without involving lawyers and a federal court*.

    *yes I know it is satire. My point stands.

  54. Anonymous says

    And then there's people like me, who like both groups and think the best way for each to get along is not to be suing each other to force people to hang out with them.

    A vote for the status quo is defacto a vote for the oppressor against the oppressed or, in this case, a vote for the idea that minorities should starve to death in sundown towns.

  55. Grifter says

    I wonder sometimes if we might be able to solve these types of issues with clear labeling. If you're a pharmacist who refuses to stock or prescribe something, you aren't a pharmacist, you're a (likely) "Religious pharmacist", or "Limited pharmacist" (though I would hope we could all agree that pharmacists who take a prescription they won't fill and then don't return it should not be allowed to do so…I believe that came up a few years ago but can't with quick Google find it). "Limited pharmacists" would not be "real" pharmacists, because they are not what the public expects when they see the name; they have scripts they will refuse to fill.

    Similarly, if you won't be an open public accomodation, you aren't a "photographer" you're a "straight events photographer" or something along those lines (again, probably usually "Religious photographer"). That would serve the purpose of allowing bigots to follow their conscience, while at the same time forcing them to be clear, at the outset, of their intention to be bigots.

    Then, if you don't specify that you are one of those separate types of pharmacist/photographer/baker, if you DO decide you need to refuse service, you THEN get slapped with all the consequences we have now…not because you're required necessarily to serve the people you don't like, but because you're required to be clear if that's what you're going to do.

  56. says

    If this was real it would throw me for a real loop. If someone won't bake me a cake (or anything else that i don't need and/or can find a replacement for), all the better, I wouldn't want to patronize them (perhaps I've got a little too much beavis & butthead on my brain, but I'd actually be a little uncomfortable eating anything someone was forced to make for me). I do think though that religious grounds should count for nothing though.

  57. Malc. says

    @TM the comparison pharmacies with sporting goods stores is inapt: a more exact one would be an effort to require a sporting goods store _that sells Glocks_ to also sell Rugers, etc. The key here is that the pharmacist is wanting to sell some types of doctor-prescribed medicines, but not others. But note that that illustrates the distinction between pharmacists and sporting goods store: you can walk into the latter thinking you want to buy a handgun and may end up being persuaded by the store owner that a shotgun would suit you better, but you'd be a bit cross if you went into a pharmacy to fill a birth control prescription and came out with an blood-pressure medication!

    That's the rub (to me): a pharmacist is expected to fill any lawful prescription issued by an appropriate authority, but a retail store is not expected to stock every item they could potentially sell. This is reflected in the licensing requirements of each…

  58. TM says

    @malc

    That's the rub (to me): a pharmacist is expected to fill any lawful prescription issued by an appropriate authority, but a retail store is not expected to stock every item they could potentially sell. This is reflected in the licensing requirements of each…

    Actually, they aren't. For example, a number of pharmacies will not dispense compounds because they're a pain to bill and manage inventory. I know of a pharmacy that no longer dispenses Sudafed because the book keeping is more of a bother than its worth. And again, do we expect that CVS in Colorado should be forced to dispense marajuanna?

  59. TM says

    Sorry, the probably came off with a bit more snark than I intended. The point I'm driving at is that we allow pharmacies (and many other businesses) to make decisions all the time about what they will and won't sell for any number of reasons, but we arbitrarily decide that certain reasons aren't good enough and by god, we will force you under penalty of jail to dispense things.

  60. Grifter says

    @TM:

    While the pharmacies are unlikely to do on-site compounding and/or specific drug stocking, I wager they don't refuse to order something if someone really wants them to.

  61. TM says

    @Grifter

    You wager wrong. But that's tangential to the point that whether they do or do not special order, they have the right to refuse.

  62. Demosthenes says

    @ Ankylosaurus

    "Part of this argument is about protecting individual freedoms, but the other end is about protecting minority groups from majority groups."

    Businessmen also qualify as a minority group, on the strictest sense of the reading — they are a minority of the population, yes?

    Okay, fine, fine, I know that's not what you meant. But buying a cake or hiring a photographer is a different matter from having important services denied to you. Getting denied water or power because of your sexual orientation would be unconscionable — at least I would hope so. But you can't hire the baker you want for your wedding cake, or the photographer for your wedding photos? Boo frickin' hoo. So you know no one that bakes? So you know no amateur lensmasters? Get them to help you out, and then launch a public campaign against the people who wouldn't sell their services.

    I say all of this, by the way, as someone who is against gay marriage, but who wouldn't turn away a customer from any business I'm ever likely to own, based on race or religion or sexual orientation or any other demographic factor. My personal feeling is that the money of people who disagree with me spends just as well as the money of people who agree with me, and there's an end on't. But people should have the right to have a choice as to whom they sell to, just as people have a right to try and buy from anyone…and I believe that holds true even if it leads to outcomes in individual cases which I would find morally reprehensible.

    The outcomes of freedom are not always pretty. That still doesn't give you the right to restrict the freedom of others merely because it accords with your current preferences.

  63. David Schwartz says

    > "Limited pharmacists" would not be "real" pharmacists, because they are not what the public expects when they see the name; they have scripts they will refuse to fill.

    Why not just explain to the public that pharmacists, like everyone else, have a freedom of association right to pick and choose their clients? Then the public won't have those expectations. Why burden a fundamental right just for a miniscule convenience?

  64. CJColucci says

    It is wrong to force photographers to photograph against their will.

    It is wrong to force bakers to decorate and sell cakes against their will.

    I have heard these assertions, and others like them, many times, and have asked in the past for explanations of them. What I have gotten instead is still more assertions, at a slightly higher level of generality, e.g., "these are fundamental human rights, goddammit!" But, seriously, I have been asking for an explanation,>i/> not a paraphrase. Beuller?…Beuller?

  65. A Person (Probably?) says

    The takeaway for me isn't "You can't discriminate against people." It's "Be subtle about it."

    I'm reasonably okay with the legal system saying "You can't say 'No, I will not bake you a cake because of your race, age, gender, creed, physical status, weight, or any of a wide array of other categories." As long as the legal system says you can say "Oh, I'm sorry. Our shop is going to be closed that week. I have a wedding to go to."

    I'd argue it's similar to 'At Will' states. In an at will state, you can be fired for almost anything. But you still can't be fired for something that's considered protected.

  66. Xenocles says

    @CJColucci-

    The reason you are getting assertions rather than proofs is that your questions are probing just above the axiomatic level. Some people axiomatically define rights the way you have seen. Can you provide a counter-thesis that doesn't rely on some axiomatic definition of rights?

  67. Cecil says

    and powers not granted herein are retained by the state and by the people… So my question is where in the list of powers the founders gave to the federal government is the power to force people to do business with anyone they decide not to for whatever reason? After all, the constitution is a document granting limited powers to a government, it is not a document that enumerates the rights of the people… Although they did decide that a few were important enough to specify, it was never intended to be a complete list of what powers the people retain. It was however a list of the _only_ powers the fed was granted. And therefore, if you can't point to it within that list, it is a power that the fed has usurped from it's rightful holders, the people.

  68. CJColucci says

    Xenocles:
    Well . . . yes, I guess that's what they're doing. Makes for a pretty short conversation if you just call your conclusions "axioms."

  69. Grifter says

    @David Schwartz:

    My suggestion doesn't burden a fundamental right.

    Yours does.

    You see, a pharmacist is a medical professional. Normally, we expect them to adhere to medical ethics. If you'd like to ignore those basic ethics by refusing to fill prescriptions, you aren't a real pharmacist, any more than a doctor who refuses to treat a dying black person is a real doctor.

    That expectation is part of what causes a customer to go to the pharmacist in the first place. It's a form of false advertising to say you're a pharmacist, then refuse to fill a script.

  70. Xenocles says

    Prove that pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Most of us will have one step: the definition of pi. Likewise, those who define rights a certain way have the ability to appeal to that definition. I guess that's unsatisfying to people who don't share that definition, but every worldview has its basic assumptions that aren't provable within that worldview. I didn't promise you a conversation, just an explanation.

  71. Daniel Taylor says

    A person can choose to leave the KKK, just as they can choose to leave the Boy Scouts or the Rotary Club.

    A person cannot change the color of their skin, the national origin of their parents, or their sexual orientation, and they can only change their gender with extreme difficulty.

    Religion itself is a bit trickier, but we've chosen to classify it with the things people can't change as a matter of law. Maybe some people really can't change their religion, history is full of people who decided that they'd rather die than do so.

    Certainly the protective case is weak when it comes to thoroughly optional services like bakeries and photographers that all major identity communities are generally supplied with "native talent" for, but when you hang out a public shingle in a multicultural society you might just end up baking a cake for someone you dislike.

  72. ChicagoTom says

    I know of a pharmacy that no longer dispenses Sudafed because the book keeping is more of a bother than its worth.

    Sudafed is OTC, no? So this analogy is not apt. Sudafed would fall into the retail category — some stuff you stock some you don't.

    And again, do we expect that CVS in Colorado should be forced to dispense marajuanna?

    Well since Colorado made marijuana legal for recreational use, it has nothing to do with prescriptions and pharmacists. Another analogy fail.

    If we are talking about medical marijuana in general, depending on the regulatory scheme of the state, why would medical marijuana available by prescription only be objectionable to stock at a CVS. It's medicine whose access by the general public is limited by gatekeepers (pharmacists).

    Should pharmacies not be required to stock Vicodin or OxyCodone or other pain killers??? Why not??

    If a pharmacists believes those things are being over-prescribed, should access to those drugs be dictated by the views of the pharmacist rather than the physician who prescribed it??

  73. David C says

    Religion itself is a bit trickier, but we've chosen to classify it with the things people can't change as a matter of law. Maybe some people really can't change their religion, history is full of people who decided that they'd rather die than do so.

    You can SAY you've changed your religion when the soldiers come knocking at your door, but then have you really changed it if you still believe the same things about God?

    But really, it's not so much something that "can't change" so much as it is something the government SHOULD not force people to change. Because we recognized that forcing everyone to join the Church of England was not a good thing.

    It really feels like this parallels the situation we're talking about, but I'm not quite finding the words to accurately portray my thoughts. Something about freedom of conscience, and it being wrong to force people to take the action to attend a church they don't believe in even if it was legal to believe in some other religion… and that it would still be wrong even if it were only business owners that were forced to do this…

  74. David C says

    ChicagoTom, you can say "but it's OTC", but what about a hypothetical situation where the government makes it only availale by prescription?

    If a pharmacists believes those things are being over-prescribed, should access to those drugs be dictated by the views of the pharmacist rather than the physician who prescribed it??

    Should a pharmacy be legally required to stock every possible prescription that exists in the universe? What if they are dangerous to store? What if they are rarely used? What if they just don't want to because it's impossible to make a profit? What if the only way to manufacture the drug is to cut down rain forests or torture kittens and they don't think the benefit is worth the cost to humanity?

  75. Xenocles says

    "A person can choose to leave the KKK…"

    I suppose a person could choose to stop disliking the KKK as well. You could choose to dress according to the standards of a restaurant, but the restaurant could also choose to not be so stuffy. If a hypothetical choice is to be the standard, why oughtn't it cut both ways? Why is it all right to discriminate against anyone for any reason when you have the choice to like – or at least be neutral – to the people in question?

  76. ChicagoTom says

    Should a pharmacy be legally required to stock every possible prescription that exists in the universe?

    Not every possible prescription — so maybe not the specific brand name drugs — but at least the generic equivalent, yes. And if not stock it on hand (because it's not very widely used and drugs do expire etc), they should be able to get it in a reasonable amount of time, or refer you to someone who can.

    But overall, yes they should for the most part somehow make available just about all prescription meds. That's kind of their whole reason for being is to distribute drugs to people with prescriptions.

    The point being — I can't access it on my own. It has to go through a gatekeeper. If I have to go through a pharmacist, that pharmacist shouldn't be able to impose their will/morals/beliefs on me. I'm forced to have to go through them so they don't get to dictate to me what I can and can't have when I have a prescription.

    That's like allowing a waiter at a restaurant to refuse to serve me meat that's on the menu because their a member of PETA. If you don't want to serve meat, don't work at a restaurant that serves meat. If you don't want to dispense birth control, don't be a pharmacist.

  77. CJColucci says

    For most of us "X is wrong" is a conclusion from a process of reasoning from other considerations, not a definition. "pi" may mean the relationship between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, or, more accurately, we may have chosen"pi" to represent that value, but what that relationship is is not a matter of definition. We have investigated the matter and determined that the relationship — and there would have to be some relationship, even if we didn't know what it is — can be expressed as a non-repeating decimal of 3.14159, etc., however many decimal places we care to carry it out. For convenience, we call this relationship, and the value we have found it to have, "pi."
    The statement "X is wrong" seems to me to have a very different character from the definition of "pi." Most of us, if we were to try to assess the truth of "X is wrong" would be able to reason from some bunch of considerations — to take a very select bunch of examples, what do people in fact want out of life and what sorts of moral rules are most likely to help us get it, what have people been doing over a broad range of cultures and societies, is some definable class of persons suffering some real harm for reasons that don't appear very weighty at first glance and can something be done about it that doesn't make things worse — and come up with some sort of conclusion. And then one can productively argue about the reasoning or question the considerations. But some people, as Justice Holmes said about a colleague, Rufus Peckham, have as a first principle "goddammit" and work it out from there — though, upon examination, "goddammit" does all the work. Hard to engage that.

  78. David C says

    If you don't want to serve meat, don't work at a restaurant that serves meat. If you don't want to dispense birth control, don't be a pharmacist.

    And if you don't want to ring up alcohol, don't work as a cashier in a grocery store that sells beer?

    But wait. Sometimes underage people work as cashiers and CANNOT legally ring up alcohol. Somehow, those grocery stores are able to accommodate this, and do not simply fire those underage workers for refusing to ring up alcohol.

  79. Cecil says

    How come all these bigoted businesses are allowed to stock devices for righties only??? Why don't lefties get equal protection under the law??? Gotta find me some southpaws to sue walmart…

  80. Frank says

    I miss the "good old days" of when an establishment could post a sign that said, "We reserve the right to refuse anyone for any reason." and lawyers rarely got involved…..

  81. Xenocles says

    "The statement "X is wrong" seems to me to have a very different character from the definition of "pi." Most of us, if we were to try to assess the truth of "X is wrong" would be able to reason from some bunch of considerations — to take a very select bunch of examples, what do people in fact want out of life and what sorts of moral rules are most likely to help us get it, what have people been doing over a broad range of cultures and societies, is some definable class of persons suffering some real harm for reasons that don't appear very weighty at first glance and can something be done about it that doesn't make things worse — and come up with some sort of conclusion. "

    And at some point you would find that you started from some principle that you can't explain with anything more satisfying than "just because." Maybe you adhere to utilitarian principles. One of those – most good for most number, say – can give rise to lots of coherent moral prescriptions. I don't doubt that. But there's no way to prove those principles are independently right. If I asked you why the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, what would you say without assuming I care about the needs of anyone outside of my sphere (not that I don't, but it's a pretty major assumption!)?

    You asked why some of us oppose using force to compel people to enter transactions. The answer is that we believe it is wrong to use force to compel people to do anything other than stop directly hurting someone. That is our entering argument. It's not that it's a circular argument, it's just that you have, in our moral framework, asked us to prove a definition. Clark might say the definition comes from God. Others appeal to some sort of natural state. I just sort of like it. It doesn't matter. It's non-provable, and if this is a problem for you you're really just screwed because literally all systems of thought depend on non-provable bases.

  82. CJColucci says

    You asked why some of us oppose using force to compel people to enter transactions. The answer is that we believe it is wrong to use force to compel people to do anything other than stop directly hurting someone. That is our entering argument. It's not that it's a circular argument, it's just that you have, in our moral framework, asked us to prove a definition.

    Definition. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you seem to think it means.
    And we all know about Godel.

  83. TM says

    @ ChicagoTom

    Sudafed is OTC in name only these days. You don't need a prescription, but good luck picking any up off the shelf without going through a pharmacist, signing a log book, and presenting ID, all such information which the pharmacy must then report to the DEA much like they have to with controlled substances. But for any OTC drug your doctor can and certainly would write you one if necessary or if you ask (the sooper sekret of "prescription strength" drugs is that they're simply higher doses of the OTC drug. One prescription strength tablet of ibuprofen = 3 regular strength tablets). So the analogy holds perfectly. The pharmacy in question has decided that the costs of providing a given legal and prescribed drug is more than is gained by stocking and dispensing the drug and more than is lost by sending customers seeking the drug away. This is all well and legal as it should be.

    As to marajuanna, yes I was speaking about medical marajuanna (which by the way Colorado has also legalized).

    As to whether a pharmacy should be required to stock certain drugs, your state may vary, but to my knowledge, no pharmacy is required to stock or dispense any particular drug by law. For example, I find no such requirements in the New York State laws regulating pharmacies (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pharm/article137.htm).

  84. says

    @Doug

    You need to do more of the John McCain-type articles. As for this one, I've spent a solid twenty minutes trying to figure out if this is satire or legitimate, and if so, what point is being made – unsuccessfully, I might add.

    This is a group blog. Patrick wrote that.

    I thought it was excellent, and I LOL-ed copiously.

    But I am not Patrick and that is not what I do.

  85. Castaigne says

    @Dan:

    Hang on, I'm not a lawyer, but isn't it legal to refuse service unless someone is a member of a "protected class"? I don't think being a member of the KKK is really a religious belief.

    Oh, it could certainly be a religious belief here in Georgia. There are two options: a) the KKK member belongs to a 'Christian Identity' church or b) the KKK member is a member of a Southern Baptist church that still holds to the 'Curse of Noah' doctrine.

    [Note: This assumes that the article wasn't satire, which it was. The current KKK Grand Wizard here in Georgia is one Chris Barker.]

    =====

    @Ken White:

    It's funny that people are so lost to the point that they think Clark thought the article was real news.

    With Clark living in Anarchicapistan in his head, I would be terribly surprised if he didn't think the article was real. You get a lot of that at, say, Free Republic.

  86. Rich Rostrom says

    whheydt • Sep 28, 2013 @10:23 am: That is…Does one *really* want a wedding photographed or a cake baked by someone that hates your guts?

    Norm • Sep 28, 2013 @7:33 pm: I don't see why I would entrust my memories or food to someone who is actively opposed to helping me.

    Gessler's Hat.

    As has been noted before, this is not about denial of an ordinary accommodation because of irrelevant status. It is requirement of tacit approval by participation in particular conduct.

    Disapproval of this conduct has been declared crimethink. Refusal to provide approval on demand is evidence of crimethink and must be punished (like failing to bow to the hat).

    Note that the Oregon bakery was forced out of business.

  87. says

    It might just be my imagination, but I'm seeing good reason for professionals, e.g. lawyers, to be able to turn away potential business for unsatisfactory reasons.

    Let me start with the base assumption that the motives and beliefs of the client are not imputed to the lawyer. Model rules and many state rules make this assertion, and I think it is at least implicit everywhere. The most extreme example is the attorney who does criminal work: we do not want to presume that he favors crime. However, in a civil case, someone has to be the ACLU lawyer who defends the Illinois Nazis' right to march. Yes, the same skunks we dislike, we must permit to express their odious views.

    Still, I am very sympathetic to the attorney who does not want to take that case. If he dislikes Illinois Nazis enough, he may be unsure that he can provide adequate representation. Should we permit him to render what he expects to be ineffective assistance, in order to enforce an ideal of public accommodation?

    Lawyering is not a commodity like room-nights or plates of food. I think the rules should probably account for this.

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