August 23, 2018

You say Tomato, I say Tomahto

So what is the difference between a baker refusing to create a gay wedding cake and a bank or insurance company that refuses to cover or loan money to perfectly qualified companies (or people) that are involved in the firearms industry?


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I don’t see any difference, personally, but you already knew that 😁

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Actually, in this case, there is a difference.

The baker's case was about civil rights and public accommodation. Or so plaintiffs claimed. The baker responded that the case was about his 1A right to freedom of religion, and that therefore the case was about whether or not he could be forced against his religious principles to bake a custom cake for a gay wedding. (It should always be remembered -- and rarely is -- that he offered to sell a ready-made cake with standard decorations. His refusal was about creating custom art for something that violated his beliefs.)

In case of the banks vs. firearms industry, there is no government interest at stake. The so-called "Operation Choke-Point" put on by the Obama administration to force banks to withdraw services to the firearms industry was withdrawn last year. Banks are now bending over to nothing short of naked political pressure from people like the Governor of New York, who wants them to stop providing financial services in the (rather silly) hope of shutting down gun manufacturing and sales. Instead of telling the Gov and other such people to eff off, the banks are doing as they are bid. There is no Constitutional case being argued in defense of the banks, but if we compare it to the cake baker's case, it sure seems like there is a public accommodation side involved here. Gun shops, distributors, and manufacturers are clearly being discriminated against in the matter of obtaining banking services which they require in order to operate.

Normally, due to laws passed decades ago that were intended to put a stop to discrimination in the banking industry, banks have to justify refusal to do business with someone, and since they are just sort of mumbling, "Because the governor told us to", I don't see where they really have a leg to stand on. A gun shop is no more of a risk to a bank than a bookstore or a vape shop or an auto parts store, or any other legitimate business you could think of.

If this goes on, I suspect there will be a very ugly court case and the banks will lose. Because if they can shut down banking services for the gun industry, who is next? That's a nice vape shop you have there, be a shame if suddenly you couldn't do any banking...and you, over there, writing that conservative blog -- your accounts are closed, take your money somewhere else.

No...they really don't want to go down that road. It will not end well for them.

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