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

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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

Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

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Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Government Misconduct Frees Cliven Bundy

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Law & the Courts

Government Misconduct Frees Cliven Bundy

Politically charged prosecutions — even ones that are thoroughly justified — often end badly for the justice system. So it appears with the federal prosecutions of Cliven Bundy and his sons. The government blew its case against Bundy's sons by overcharging them, resulting in a jury acquittal in 2016. Today, ... Read More
Education

Tom Cotton Introduces Campus Free-Speech Bill

I am pleased to announce that today Senator Tom Cotton has introduced the “Campus Free Speech Restoration Act” (CAFSRA). Under CAFSRA, public colleges and universities that promulgate restrictive speech codes, so-called free-speech zones, and other unconstitutional speech policies will lose their eligibility ... Read More
Education

Tom Cotton Introduces Campus Free-Speech Bill

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Film & TV

Laughing at Beyoncé’s Absolute Monarchy

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Film & TV

Laughing at Beyoncé’s Absolute Monarchy

Back in the Nineties, when hip-hop zealots questioned the intelligence of Beyoncé songs like Destiny’s Child’s careerist anthem “Survivor” and the sex-as-junk-food hit “Bootylicious,” there was little regard for the female agency that she now channels into an intersectional act, trading on gender and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Year of Resentment

Political journalists, commentators, pundits, and flacks often engage in their work in a year like this with a world-weary, if not depressed, attitude. And given the oddly low metabolism of our presidential campaign, who could blame them? Donald Trump isn’t able to do the rallies that energized him and his ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Year of Resentment

Political journalists, commentators, pundits, and flacks often engage in their work in a year like this with a world-weary, if not depressed, attitude. And given the oddly low metabolism of our presidential campaign, who could blame them? Donald Trump isn’t able to do the rallies that energized him and his ... Read More