The managers of a Seattle bar who sought to ban a Republican organization from celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – at one point telling members to go away – backed down after they were told their discrimination was illegal.
The case collapsed just as quickly as it developed, thanks to social media.
A Facebook post Saturday from the College Republicans at the University of Washington shortly after Kavanaugh’s 50-48 confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate announced a “Beers 4 Brett” event that night at Shultzy’s Bar & Grill.
Shultzy’s quickly responded with a notice: “Shultzy’s is a sports-themed bar & grill that welcomes everyone. We do not promote or endorse any one religious or political viewpoint. As such, due to the political nature of your planned event, we request that you find another venue to celebrate.”
The statement was followed quickly by a message from Freedom X, which has represented the College Republicans in other rights cases.
“Bill Becker Freedom X clients UW College Republicans have been told that Shultzy’s B&G intends to discriminate against them on the basis of political ideology and deny them service in violation of Seattle Ordinance Chs. 14.06.020(T) and 14.06.030(B)(2-3) tonight 10/6/18. On advice of counsel, they will exercise their statutory right to patronize this establishment. If denied service Freedom X will sue to vindicate our clients’ right.”
According to Jason Rantz at KTTH Radio, the bar told the Republicans to go elsewhere after “some Progressive activists contacted the bar to complain.”
Chevy Swanson, president of the college group, told Rantz: “I thought that the left wing activists who took notice of our event had lied to the restaurant about the nature of our event. It seemed incredibly odd to deny service for a quiet gathering of college Republicans and guests.”
It’s also illegal.
Reported Rantz: “The bar’s discomfort with the event aside, there could have been a small problem if they were to enforce their request: Seattle prohibits discrimination on the basis of political ideology, one of the few cities in the country offering such protection. Indeed, it’s been controversial, as some Progressives argue it should be legal to discriminate against people who hold views counter to their own.”
Rantz said Swanson talked with Bill Becker of Freedom X and then called the bar to explain “they can’t deny service over political leanings.”
“We did and they hung up on us,” Swanson said.
Ultimately, Swanson and more than a dozen College Republicans went to the bar as planned.
“We asked for a table and they served us,” Swanson told Rantz, who said that for Swanson and the UWCR members, “this is par for the course of being a conservative in Seattle, but they vow to push back against the ideological bigotry.”
The bar also came under criticism on social media, with Darlene Callahan noting: “Just to remind all conservatives, U.S. Patriots and grandparents, that if the Democrats take back the House, they plan to impeach President Trump … bring back the regulations President Trump removed … undo all that this administration has done including jobs & taxes … destroy all evidence of crimes committed during the Obama regime so that none will exist to indict anyone” and more.
Becker pointed out on the comment thread that the “mere presence of supporters of a newly confirmed SCOTUS justice does not pose a safety threat.”
“The left is delusional and hysterical. You don’t have a right to discrimination because you can’t control your emotions,” he said.
But others endorsed the bar’s rejection of the Republicans.
Thomas Thompson wrote: “Good for you Shultzy’s. Will strongly recommend your establishment.”