The woman who won a historic U.S. Supreme Court case last month granting First Amendment freedoms to business owners is speaking out and explaining what motivated her legal battle.
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Lorie Smith, a graphic and web designer who runs 303 Creative, told CBN’s Faithwire she was “ecstatic” when the high court ruled 6-3 in her favor.
“I was with my family, and we had prayed for this moment for seven years,” she said. “[I was] ecstatic and grateful that the court stood to protect speech, not just for me, but for every American.”
Smith said she brought her 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis case to defend freedom for all — not just herself.
“From the start of my business many years ago, I’ve wanted one thing, and that’s to create speech consistent with my convictions,” she said. “And I want that for everyone.”
But Smith has charged that Colorado had both censored and compelled her speech. And that’s why she embarked on a legal battle to challenge laws she believes impeded her rights — a battle that made its way to the Supreme Court, with the majority of the justices agreeing with Smith.
“After much prayer and consideration, I decided to take a stand to challenge Colorado’s injustice,” she said. “I know that if I want speech and free speech for myself, then I need to also defend it for others, not just today, but for future generations.”
Watch her explain:
Smith continued, “After seven very long years, the highest court in the nation affirmed that the government can’t force anyone to say something they don’t believe, and, ultimately, that’s correct.”
Jonathan Scruggs, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom and an attorney who represented Smith, also responded to critiques Smith’s case was predicated on a quest to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Scruggs said the victory is for everyone.
“It really was a great victory for the First Amendment, for free speech, and for all Americans for precisely this point — that it doesn’t … just protect Lori,” Scruggs said. “It applies to the LGBT web designer. It applies to the Muslim artists, the Jewish artists. It applies to everyone, and that’s exactly the point.”
The lawyer said Colorado was “coming in and singling out particular views” and demanding ideological compliance. He called this approach “wrong” and said the decision will affirm this reality for all Americans.
The 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis ruling’s historic nature has put a massive spotlight on Smith, leading to both praise and scorn. She said “egregious lies” have been told about her case — something she believes has been an attempt to “distract people.”
“It’s been a challenge, but free speech is worthy of protecting, and I’m grateful that the court has stepped in to protect not just my speech, but everyone’s speech,” she said. “And I’m just looking forward to the next chapter.”
With anger and furor fomenting in some sectors, Smith said she’s simply relying on her faith to navigate it all.
“I know that when I stand to speak truth, that I will be subject to some sort of persecution,” she said. “And so I step boldly. I continue to walk forward knowing that the Lord has protected my family and I the last seven years and will continue to do so.”
Smith added, “Ultimately, I have peace knowing that what I have stood for protects everyone, including those who have sent me vile messages.”
Scruggs said the ruling will protect some of the other Christian business owners who have had much-publicized cases in recent years “if they’re engaged in speech.” Some of those cases will be revisited in light of the Supreme Court decision.
Read more about the case here.
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