• Forced Association

      Last night I pointed out that the result of discrimination laws today is that all-women gyms are sued and forced to let in men; a gay softball team is sued for rejecting bisexual members; A Christian wedding photographer is fined thousands of dollars for refusing to take photos of a gay wedding.

      David Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy blog points to another absurd case involving California’s civil rights law:

      There is a German restaurant called the Alpine Village Inn, in Torrance California. A group of four neo-Nazis went there to eat, each wearing a lapel pin with a swastika on it. The management asked them to take off the lapel pins. They refused. The management asked them to leave. They refused. The management called the police, who arrested them.

      Then, remarkably, the Southern California ACLU gets involved, and sues the restaurant for calling the police … According to the commenter who first alerted me to this story, “the defendants’ insurer eventually settled following unsuccessful pretrial challenges to the complaint, believing they could not prevail under California law!”

      Bernstein comments:

      How did a civil rights principle meant to aid African Americans and others who suffered grievous discrimination for generations come to protect the “right” of Neo-Nazis to parade their Nazi wardrobes in a privately owned restaurant against the wishes of management?

      “Privately owned” is key.  The neo-Nazi’s ought to be free to exercise their free speech rights on public property, but not at my house.

      Also, Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution, points out that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes possible the injustices of government-enforced affirmative action:

      The [Supreme Court] case, Lewis v. Chicago, involved alleged discrimination against African American applicants for the Chicago Fire Department who took a test in 1995. The department set a passing score of 64 on the exam… Applicants scoring 89 and above were classified as “well qualified”. The majority of “well-qualified” applicants were white. Only 11 percent were black...

      The trial court … ordered the city to hire 132 randomly selected African American applicants who scored above 64. The court also ordered the city to divide backpay owed among the rest of the black applicants.

      White, Asian and Hispanic applicants who also scored above 64 but below the 89 standard were not offered employment or backpay.

      The court’s ruling sounds more unfair than anything the fire department did.