Tony Aliva is the former Director of Media Relations for Gun Owners of America, the far-right fringe group that thinks the NRA is too liberal. He’s also completely ignorant of constitutional law, but true to the Dunning-Kruger effect, that doesn’t stop him from blathering about it and making very silly arguments. BarbWire, naturally, was happy to publish them.
The headline on his absurd column is “Supreme Court Ruling Makes Islam More Important than the Second Amendment.” The ruling he is referring to is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a case about hiring discrimination on the basis of religion. That company refused to hire a Muslim woman because she wore a headscarf and the EEOC filed suit on her behalf alleging religious discrimination. It was an 8-1 decision (9-0 in some aspects; Justice Thomas dissented in part and concurred in part), so it was pretty much a slam dunk case. Aliva makes some truly bizarre arguments about it.
On Monday, June 1, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who sued Abercrombie & Fitch on the basis of discrimination because they denied her a job because she refused the dress code banning head scarves while at work.
First of all, I wonder if the court would rule in the same way if the girl in question was a Christian and was denied a job because she refused to remove a cross from around her neck.
But I digress.
Since the overwhelming majority of religious discrimination cases filed by the EEOC involve Christians, this is a rather dumb thing to wonder. But I digress…
I’m going to forgo equating the hijab with saggy pants, tattered jeans or wrinkled shirts. I will accept that the hijab is not a fashion choice but a religious observance and as such should be protected under the First Amendment along with yarmulkes and crosses.
That is seemingly the basis on which the Supreme Court made their ruling. A violation of Elauf’s First Amendment rights…
And it is EXACTLY that point that I have such a problem with.
You see, I, along with 300 milllion other Americans have the right to keep and BEAR arms. As such, according to the ruling on Monday, any store, business, municipality or state that tries to infringe upon that right is discriminating against me.
By this ruling, the Supreme Court has set a precedent that says businesses cannot violate constitutional rights regardless of what rules or procedures they have established.
Nope. Wrong. Flagrantly wrong. You see, this ruling was not a constitutional ruling at all. It had nothing to do with the constitution, it had to do with interpretation of statutory law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids companies to refuse to hire someone due to their religious practices if those practices could be accommodated without “undue hardship.” The Supreme Court did not set any precedent that is even remotely similar to the one Aliva ignorantly believes they did.
And in fact, if they had declared that the Constitution forbids hiring discrimination by private companies, I’d be willing to bet that Aliva would be among those throwing a hell of a tantrum about it because that would also forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as well (which is not covered by federal statutory law at all). But no, the Constitution constrains the government, not private corporations. And a company does not have to allow you to carry your gun into their establishment if they don’t want to. And this ruling does precisely nothing to change that.
If Abercrombie & Fitch have to pay Elauf $20,000 because they wouldn’t hire her, how much am I owed for being kicked out of coffee shop or a book store for being a gun owner?
My observance and practicing of my Second Amendment rights are no less valid or important than Ms. Elauf wearing her head scarf and as such MUST be afforded the same protections by the Supreme Court.
But it is in this way that half the Justices have proven themselves to be Supreme hypocrites.
Nope, it just proves that you’re an ignoramus who shoots his mouth off about things he doesn’t understand.