Magazine July 10, 2017, Issue

Letters

(Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Obergefell and Forced Labor

With respect to Alexandra DeSanctis’s article “Religious Liberty after Obergefell” (June 12), it is surprising to me that no defendant has cited the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment states that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, . . . shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The verdict against Ms. Stutzman of Richland, Wash., would force her to provide labor to another person under penalty of law in clear violation of the 13th Amendment. Requiring a store to sell off-the-shelf items to any purchaser is one thing; requiring personal service is quite another.

Robert C. Whitten

Cupertino, Calif.

Alexandra DeSanctis responds: This particular argument hasn’t been used in court to defend the rights of businesspeople such as florist Barronelle Stutzman, but your last point seems to hint at one possible policy compromise. Many on the right and the left agree that there is a distinction between a pre-made bouquet, for example, and flowers custom-designed for a client, such as the ones Stutzman was asked to create. Because the latter involves personal artistry — and, as a result, can be understood as a sort of participation in a customer’s same-sex wedding ceremony — some believe business owners should be free to refuse. They would still be legally required, however, to sell pre-made bouquets off the shelf to every customer, no matter the event in question.

Corrections

In the Week (June 26), the home paper of Bob Novak’s long-running column was identified as the Washington Post; in fact, it was the Chicago Sun-Times.

In John J. Miller’s “Fifty Flags,” in the same issue, the Maryland state flag’s crosses bottony were misidentified as fleurs-de-lis. The Ohio state flag was described as having the “angled shape of a cavalry guidon,” but in fact it combines the swallowtail of a cavalry guidon with the angled shape of a naval burgee.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

LOST PRAYER A prayer well known and repeated, and repeated, the mind focused on the words, on the words, becomes an internal ceremony, with little room, and then no room for another thought; sooner or ...
Letters

Letters

Obergefell and Forced Labor With respect to Alexandra DeSanctis’s article “Religious Liberty after Obergefell” (June 12), it is surprising to me that no defendant has cited the 13th Amendment to the ...
The Week

The Week

‐ Can it be mere coincidence that Ossoff is a Russian name? ‐ In spite of the total lack of available information, a host of figures in the media were convinced ...

Most Popular

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
U.S.

Two Years Later, Don’t Misplace Blame for Parkland

Two years ago, 17 people died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. In the intervening years, both those who survived it and those who observed it from afar have tried to figure out how something so terrible could have happened. That is understandable. Unfortunately, the ... Read More
U.S.

Two Years Later, Don’t Misplace Blame for Parkland

Two years ago, 17 people died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. In the intervening years, both those who survived it and those who observed it from afar have tried to figure out how something so terrible could have happened. That is understandable. Unfortunately, the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Is Right about Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General Bill Barr rightly and understandably rebuked government by presidential tweet in a notable ABC News interview on Thursday. The attorney general said that President Trump was making his job “impossible” by constantly commenting on an ongoing criminal case, and one involving Trump’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Is Right about Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General Bill Barr rightly and understandably rebuked government by presidential tweet in a notable ABC News interview on Thursday. The attorney general said that President Trump was making his job “impossible” by constantly commenting on an ongoing criminal case, and one involving Trump’s ... Read More