WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have joined other republican colleagues in a bicameral amicus brief in the case of “303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.”
According to a press release, they are asking the Supreme Court to review a circuit court decision they said prohibits the owner of Colorado business “303 Crative LLC” from exercising free speech and religious liberty rights.
“The government should never have the power to compel speech or threaten Americans with fines to force them to violate their religious beliefs,” said Lankford. “A diverse nation has diverse opinions that should be heard and respected.”Senator James Lankford (R-OK)
These are the Senators who have joined Lankford and Cruz in the brief, according to the release:
- Marsha Blackburn (R-TN);
- John Boozman (R-AR);
- Mike Braun (R-IN);
- John Cornyn (R-TX);
- Tom Cotton (R-AR);
- Steve Daines (R-MT);
- Jim Risch (R-ID);
- Josh Hawley (R-MO);
- Jim Inhofe (R-OK);
- Mike Lee (R-UT);
- Marco Rubio (R-FL);
- John Thune (R-SD);
- Thom Tillis (R-NC);
- Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is leading the amicus brief in the House of Representatives, the release said.
The release stated the petitioner is Lorie Smith, who owns the website design company “303 Creative”, and claimed she cannot provide services to same-sex weddings because doing so would violate her Christian faith. However, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) requires her to provide such services and prevents her from explaining her opinion, according to the release. It also stated that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that the state can compel Ms. Smith’s creative speech, which is the decision the petition is seeking to overturn by asking the Supreme Court to review it.
According to the release, Ms. Smith’s case is inspired by the “Masterpiece Cakeshop” case, which involved the owner, Jack Philips, arguing “the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated his constitutional rights by acting with hostility to his religious faith.” The release stated Lankford submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in 2018 and won the case.