Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Freedom of Speech
Following the precedent of other similar cases this year, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that the artwork created by Brush & Nib Studio is protected speech. Since it is not a commercially available product, this means the artwork is considered “pure free speech” and protected under the First Amendment. While the studio serves customers regardless of their beliefs, they chose not to create artwork for a same-sex wedding ceremony.In yet another attempt at compelled speech by a governing body, a lawsuit was brought against the owners of the studio by the city of Phoenix for failure to adhere to the cities “Human Relations Ordinance”.
In its ruling, the court noted that the material that Brush & Nib creates is unique and hand tailored to the customer, distinguishing it from other types of products or services that fall under constitutional protection.
The court made an important distinction about free speech, saying “Duka and Koski’s [owners of Brush & Nib] beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some. But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone. After all, while our own ideas may be popular today, they may not be tomorrow. “
Free speech is a basic right, guaranteed by the constitution. Erosion of free speech only invites further injustices, and CTV applauds the Arizona Supreme Court for standing firm and upholding the constitution.