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Scott Lloyd

First Amendment protects God-given moral agency

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2 hours ago, Daniel2 said:

Can you imagine the response of the LDS Church if a group was pressing for an going, DAILY constitutionally-protected ability to decline goods and services to others based on objecting to such potential customers' religious lifestyle?

Would the church and it's  members classify THAT as "an attack on religion/religious freedom"?

I will pretend to be a Rastafarian and they will never be able to identify me.

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34 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

Are you saying you wouldn't consider it an attack on religion or religious liberty if businesses and government agents and contractors were free to refuse services to any given citizen based on the religion of said potential patron?

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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18 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

Now apply this attitude to snowflake bakers who feel entitled to break the law because of their religious beliefs.

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18 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

So, if your state's government-funded adoption agency (meaning, funded by your tax dollars) refused to consider married LDS couples as potential adoptive or foster parents because those running the agency felt that Mormons are Satanic, you don't feel that would be unjust religious discrimination? (given that you could try to find another state that does allow adoptions to LDS families, of course...)

Edited by Daniel2

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38 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

Are you also suggesting you would/do support efforts to abolish "religion" as a protected class and exempt it from any protections against discrimination in public accommodation laws?

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43 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

Do you mean to imply that Dr. King, Jr. and his followers within the Civil Rights Movement that fought at sit-ins for the right to be served at restaurants were really just feeling "entitled" to be served and are really comparable to this "age of the snowflake" mindset you refer to...?

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

It's ironic that your statement above brought to mind the title and gist of this article:

Quote

03/14/2016 01:18 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2017

 
 

I’ve never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I’m not much of a fighter, I suppose... more of an “arguer.” I don’t think I’m “scared” to get into a fight, necessarily — there have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical fight could easily have happened.

I just can’t see myself ever being the guy who throws the first punch, and I’m usually the kind of guy who DE-escalates things with logic or humor. And one of the things about being that sort of person, is that the other sort of guy — the sort who jumps into fights quickly — tends to not really be a big fan of me. Not when he first meets me, at least. They usually like me later. Not always. You can’t win ‘em all...

When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t really know anyone. I got a job as a server on my second day here. And before long, I was one of the servers the management favored, which meant I got better shifts, better sections and better money.

About nine months after I had been there, a new guy started. We instantly disliked each other. He didn’t like my smart mouth, and I didn’t like how he walked in and immediately acted like he owned the place. He carried himself with this annoying confidence — like it was his world, and he would tolerate our being in it, as long as we stayed out of his damn way.

There were also rumors that this guy had spent some time in jail, and it was very clear that he was not a “DE-escalater.” He was the sort of guy who knew exactly how much he could bench, you know? And you could sense that — just below the surface — there was always this restless energy that silently dared you to say something. He was an intimidating dude.

So it bothered me a little bit when — only a month after he started working there - he was already getting rotated into some of the good sections. Another mouth to feed meant less money for me. He was a good server though.

But nothing he did got under my skin nearly as bad as this: When Chuck (we’ll call him “Chuck.” His name wasn’t Chuck, but it was definitely a name in the “Chuck” category of names. It certainly wasn’t a pushover name like “Chris”) would walk toward you, he always expected you to be the one to move out of the way. He didn’t do this when walking toward girls.

2016-03-14-1457975323-396120-boesk2.jpg

 

But if he and another guy (me, especially) were heading toward each other, he would head straight for the other guy — not making eye contact — and he always assumed he had the right of way. If not, you would get bumped by this stocky, solid mass of aggression who seemed to be just itching for someone to question his intended path. And really, this seemed to best describe how Chuck lived his whole life — walking straight at people, and expecting them to move. Until one day...

I had had enough.

I kept thinking, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” Just about everyone else in the world seemed to agree that if two people were walking toward each other, both people would acquiesce a little, leaning the side closest to the other person back just so.

What gave this guy the right to just expect that I’m going to move out of his way? And then another thought started tugging at my brain: “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?”

I was done playing by his rules. And that evening, as he walked quickly toward me in the aisle of the restaurant (we both were fairly fast walkers), I walked toward him — and I didn’t move. I’m not a giant of a man, but I’m solid enough to hold my own — especially when I see a collision coming — and the impact spun him around.

Right there, in front of guests, he immediately said, “What the ****, dude!?”

I said, “You alright?”

He was furious, and insisting to know why I had just bumped into him.

I said, “Chuck, I was just walking. Why did you assume that I was going to move out of your way?”

He followed me around the restaurant, angrily attempting to escalate things. He ended up stopping me by another table, and when I said something along the lines of “Welcome to planet Earth,” he shoved me. Hard. And not like a shove where you put your hands on someone and then shove.

“Equality can feel like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege.”

It was the sort of shove where his hands were already moving really fast when they hit my chest, and it made a pretty loud noise. All of his bench-pressing muscles let lose on me — this person who dared question his right of way — and I was knocked about two steps back.

I walked away from him, and I could feel my heart beating in my ears. I thought about what I should do, if I should say something to a manager (that didn’t seem like a good idea), if I should say anything more to Chuck (that seemed like an even worse idea).

I decided to just try to avoid him for a bit and let him cool off. About 15 minutes later, the GM asked to talk to me. He said that a guest had seen Chuck angrily shove me, and had complained and described what happened (describing it as him “hitting” me, but it was definitely a shove).

I told him what happened — about him always assuming I was going to move, about me simply walking and not moving, and about the arguing and the shove that followed. It was a corporate restaurant, so he took everything very seriously. He filled out an incident report, asked me if I wanted to press charges, and told me if I wanted him gone, he was fired. I said that I didn’t want the guy to lose his job. I just wanted him to recognize that other people had every right to be there that he did.

And so, I recently thought about this story again after I had just read this amazing quote (a quote for which I tried very hard to find an attribution, but kept coming up “Unknown):

“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

And things started making a little more sense to me. All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies. All this anger we see from people insisting that their “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married. All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot...

They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting them to move. So when “those people” in their path don’t move — when those people start wondering, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?”; when those people start asking themselves, “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?”; when those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else — it can seem like their rights are being taken away.

2016-03-14-1457975384-2302534-boesk3.jpg

Can a brother get some “peach”?

Equality can feel like oppression. But it’s not. What you’re feeling is just the discomfort of losing a little bit of your privilege — the same discomfort that an only child feels when she goes to preschool and discovers that there are other kids who want to play with the same toys as she does.

It’s like an old man being used to having a community pool all to himself, having that pool actually opened up to everyone in the community, and then that old man yelling, “But what about MY right to swim in a pool all by myself?!”

And what we’re seeing politically right now is a bit of anger from both sides. On one side, we see people who are angry about “those people” being let into “our” pool. They’re angry about sharing their toys with the other kids in the classroom.

They’re angry about being labeled a “racist,” just because they say racist things and have racist beliefs. They’re angry about having to consider others who might be walking toward them, strangely exerting their right to exist.

2016-03-14-1457975439-3856209-boesk4.jpg

This is the “Again” of “Make America Great Again.” Don’t worry, they’ll just open some swim clubs and make the membership really expensive...

On the other side, we see people who believe that pool is for everyone. We see people who realize that when our kids throw a fit in preschool, we teach them about how sharing is the right thing to do. We see people who understand being careful with their language as a way of being respectful to others. We see people who are attempting to stand in solidarity with the ones who are claiming their right to exist — the ones who are rightfully angry about having to always move out of the way, people who are asking themselves the question, “What if I just keep walking?”

Which kind of person are you?

I should mention that “Chuck” and I eventually became friends, proving that people who see the world very differently can get along when they are open to change, and when they are willing to try to see the world though another person’s eyes. There is hope.

The reason I don't believe I'm confusing "liberty" with "entitlement" is because you already enjoy the protections afforded to your Faith due to it's recognition as a protected class and the enjoyment of anti-discrimination protections in public accommodation laws, while as a gay man, I am not afforded those same protections. 

What I am seeking for is EQUAL treatment.  IF the law said, as you do now, that any business CAN discriminate against anyone for any reason, I wouldn't be asserting a right to not be discriminated against on the basis of the gender of my spouse. 

But since current law prohibits such discrimination for some classes of people, I'm asking for the same protective treatment under the law.  That isn't "entitlement"---that's equality.

Unless you're suggesting that those classes enjoying protections from discrimination are actually also "entitled"...and are likewise deserving of "entitlement" treatment that I and my husband (and couples like us) don't deserve?

Edited by Daniel2

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

I fear its a slippery slope to legalize an individuals right to discriminate against another human being. Opening that door could open the way for someone else to discriminate against you.  This baker's rights to a particular belief is not  infringed upon by them being compelled to serve all of their customers. Both before and after baking the wedding cake, the baker can continue to believe that marriage equality is wrong, being required to bake that cake doesn't impinge on his beliefs in any manner what so ever.

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13 hours ago, Gray said:

The Muslim ban represents a threat to religious freedom.

I had not really thought about this, but you are correct.  The ban is a prime example of a real threat to religious freedom.

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4 hours ago, Button Gwinnett said:

I fear its a slippery slope to legalize an individuals right to discriminate against another human being. Opening that door could open the way for someone else to discriminate against you.  This baker's rights to a particular belief is not  infringed upon by them being compelled to serve all of their customers. Both before and after baking the wedding cake, the baker can continue to believe that marriage equality is wrong, being required to bake that cake doesn't impinge on his beliefs in any manner what so ever.

You bring up a very good point Button.  BTY, welcome to the discussion board.

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

I had not really thought about this, but you are correct.  The ban is a prime example of a real threat to religious freedom.

What Muslim ban?

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

You bring up a very good point Button.  BTY, welcome to the discussion board.

But religious freedom is not simply about beliefs, but behaviour.

And beliefs are expressed through behaviour...so in essence one would be saying 'you can believe whatever you want about same sex marriage, you just can't express your belief'.

Since no government has managed to mindreading yet, that level of religious freedom is available everywhere.

Edited by Calm

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6 hours ago, Button Gwinnett said:

I fear its a slippery slope to legalize an individuals right to discriminate against another human being. Opening that door could open the way for someone else to discriminate against you.  This baker's rights to a particular belief is not  infringed upon by them being compelled to serve all of their customers. Both before and after baking the wedding cake, the baker can continue to believe that marriage equality is wrong, being required to bake that cake doesn't impinge on his beliefs in any manner what so ever.

I think he would say he should not be required to violate his conscience in order to operate his business. Just as an Orthodox Jew in the T shirt printing business should not be required to print and sell T shirts with anti-Semitic messages or a black person should not be required to make and sell placards for use in a white supremacy rally. 

And slippery slopes can go two ways. If a person of faith is forced through judicial fiat to provide a non-essential service that violates his conscience, how long before we can expect someone to try to get the courts to force the Church of Jesus Christ to perform his gay "marriage" in the temple?

A supposed liberty that allows a person to hold certain beliefs but does not permit him to behave in accordance with his conscience is no liberty at all. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

But religious freedom is not simply about beliefs, but behaviour.

And beliefs are expressed through behaviour...so in essence one would be saying 'you can believe whatever you want about same sex marriage, you just can't express your belief'.

Since no government has managed to mindreading yet, that level of religious freedom is available everywhere.

Yes. The right to choose one's own behavior is what we Mormons call moral agency. Which is what this thread is intended to be about. 

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14 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

What Muslim ban?

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our countries representatives can figure out what is going on" -Campaign Press Release

That one.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our countries representatives can figure out what is going on" -Campaign Press Release

That one.

You say this is a campaign press release. The campaign ended nearly a year ago. Is there a ban in place currently, and if so, when was it implemented? 

Edited to add: Is this a direct quote from the news release? If so the writer should have proofread more carefully ("our countries representatives"). 

Edited further to add: I did a Google search and found this:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1401/establish-ban-muslims-entering-us/

So it seems the above quoted campaign press release was issued  back in December 2015. He soon backed away from it and instead called for a ban on travel from certain Middle Eastern nations with known terrorist activity. This he has tried without success to implement as president, having been blocked in the courts. 

Bottom line: There is no Muslim ban. Even if Trump had succeeded, Muslims from nations not covered by the travel ban would still be free to enter the country. 

The "Muslim ban" is a straw man argument. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005

Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)

Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.

 

The FBI Divides Terrorist-Related Activities into Two Categories:

  • A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

You say this is a campaign press release. The campaign ended nearly a year ago. Is there a ban in place currently, and if so, when was it implemented? 

Edited to add: Is this a direct quote from the news release? If so the writer should have proofread more carefully ("our countries representatives"). 

Edited further to add: I did a Google search and found this:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1401/establish-ban-muslims-entering-us/

So it seems the above quoted campaign press release was issued  back in December 2015. He soon backed away from it and instead called for a ban on travel from certain Middle Eastern nations with known terrorist activity. This he has tried without success to implement as president, having been blocked in the courts. 

Bottom line: There is no Muslim ban. Even if Trump had succeeded, Muslims from nations not covered by the travel ban would still be free to enter the country. 

The "Muslim ban" is a straw man argument. 

Wait.....the campaign is over. Someone should tell the President so he stops wasting his time with campaign rallies.

Right, the promised Muslim ban and the country-specific travel ban have nothing in common. No relation. Completely independent. Trump backed away and never came back to his Muslim travel ban and the actual implemented ban share no common ancestry. Right......

If you buy that bit of transparent sophistry I have some beachfront property in Arizona I think you might be interested in purchasing.

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14 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

My religious liberty is not dependent upon the willingness of someone else to provide a product or service to me for money, especially if I had the liberty to seek such a product or service elsewhere.

I might be annoyed or even offended by such refusal, but no, I would not regard it as an infringement on my liberty.

I think you are confusing the concepts of liberty and entitlement.

I heard a statement the other day that I think is appropriate for the age of the snowflake in which we now live: "The Constitution doesn't guarantee you the right not to be offended."

I was really looking forward to hearing your answers to the questions Daniel asked.  I have one more to ask concerning entitlement.  Do you think religion confuses entitlement with liberty when it comes to their tax exempt status which is not guaranteed in the constitution?  Would be ok with eliminating THAT entitlement program?

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5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Wait.....the campaign is over. Someone should tell the President so he stops wasting his time with campaign rallies.

Right, the promised Muslim ban and the country-specific travel ban have nothing in common. No relation. Completely independent. Trump backed away and never came back to his Muslim travel ban and the actual implemented ban share no common ancestry. Right......

If you buy that bit of transparent sophistry I have some beachfront property in Arizona I think you might be interested in purchasing.

So there's no Muslim ban in place then? You were only referring to empty campaign rhetoric of 20 months ago that was soon backed away from? 

As I said, a straw man. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

I was really looking forward to hearing your answers to the questions Daniel asked.  I have one more to ask concerning entitlement.  Do you think religion confuses entitlement with liberty when it comes to their tax exempt status which is not guaranteed in the constitution?  Would be ok with eliminating THAT entitlement program?

Do you want to eliminate tax exempt status for all churches and faith groups or just those that make you mad when their members exercise their rights under the First Amendment?

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25 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Do you want to eliminate tax exempt status for all churches and faith groups or just those that make you mad when their members exercise their rights under the First Amendment?

I didn't say anything about me wanting to eliminate church tax exemptions.  This is what I really asked.

Quote

 I was really looking forward to hearing your answers to the questions Daniel asked.  I have one more to ask concerning entitlement.  Do you think religion confuses entitlement with liberty when it comes to their tax exempt status which is not guaranteed in the constitution?  Would be ok with eliminating THAT entitlement program?

 

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14 minutes ago, california boy said:

I didn't say anything about me wanting to eliminate church tax exemptions.  This is what I really asked.

 

I think tax exemption for churches and faith groups is good public policy in view of the aggregate good that most of them do in society which would be severely curtailed were they to have onerous tax burdens imposed upon them. 

I further believe that the threat of punishing churches for their members' exercise of First Amendment rights by removing their tax exemption is an assault on religious freedom, a liberty that <is> guaranteed in the Constitution. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So there's no Muslim ban in place then? You were only referring to empty campaign rhetoric of 20 months ago that was soon backed away from? 

As I said, a straw man. 

According to the president, it's a Muslim ban.

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33 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think tax exemption for churches and faith groups is good public policy in view of the aggregate good that most of them do in society which would be severely curtailed were they to have onerous tax burdens imposed upon them. 

I further believe that the threat of punishing churches for their members' exercise of First Amendment rights by removing their tax exemption is an assault on religious freedom, a liberty that <is> guaranteed in the Constitution. 

So you think that it is ok for religion to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to expecting a tax exemption but for someone who thinks they are entitled to not be discriminated against, then they are mistaken??  How do you navigate through this?

I think it is perfectly acceptable to start to question the tax exempt entitlement religion has decided it deserves when religion starts to assault people's right to not be discriminated against, which is also in the Constitution.  Religion has never had the right to discriminate against someone when it comes to public accommodation laws.  This is a new right they are trying to establish.  The more I hear your arguments and the church's arguments pushing for this right, the less I am inclined to think the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the baker.  They don't have much of a case.  And relying on the artistic merits of frosting when no special frosting was asked for seems to be a bit flimsy.  

The ramifications for allowing discrimination based on personal feelings is just way too big of door to open against all of those protected classes.  It would effectively wipe out all the discrimination laws instituted 50 years ago.  And something that the Supreme Court already ruled were constitutional.  

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