Screeches from the Red Hen: Public Accommodations Laws and Political Affiliation Discrimination in the United States and Louisiana

AuthorMeredith N. Will
PositionJ.D./D.C.L., 2020
Pages962-995
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Screeches from the Red Hen: Public Accommodations
Laws and Political Affiliation Discrimination in the
United States and Louisiana
Meredith N. Will
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction.................................................................................. 960
I. Background to Public Accommodations Laws and
First Amendment Freedom of Association .................................. 964
A. Defining Public Accommodations......................................... 964
B. Public Accommodations Laws Historically:
From General Duty to Serve to Legislation Today................ 966
C. Public Accommodations Laws and
First Amendment Freedom of Association............................ 968
II. Louisiana’s Public Accommodations Legislation ........................972
A. The Framework: Sections 3 and 12 of the
Louisiana Constitution........................................................... 973
B. Standards of Review Under Sections 3 and 12...................... 974
C. Section 3: Legislative Intent and Court Interpretations ......... 975
D. Combining Section 3’s Standard of Review
Interpretation with Section 12’s Application......................... 977
III. The Addition of Political Affiliation in Light of
Drafting History and Other Legislation........................................ 979
A. Characteristics of Political Affiliation and Louisiana
Constitutional Convention’s Intent Reveal
Potential to Add Political Affiliation..................................... 979
B. Public Accommodations Legislation in the District
of Columbia, Seattle, and the U.S. Virgin Islands................. 982
C. Political Affiliation in Louisiana Employment Law.............. 984
IV. Potential Conflict with Freedom of Association .......................... 985
Copyright 2020, by MEREDITH N. WILL.
J.D./D.C.L., 2020. Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State
University. This Comment is dedicated to my parents, Chris and Kathleen Will,
for consistently inspiring me and encouraging me in all of my endeavors. Special
thanks to Professor John Devlin for his guidance throughout the writing process
and law school, as well as Professor Jim Garand for his invaluable mentorship.
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960 LOUISIANA LAW REVIEW [Vo l. 80
A. Freedom of Association Within Section 12’s
Constitutional History............................................................ 986
B. Potential Threats to Freedom of Association by
Public Accommodations Laws .............................................. 988
V. Legislative Solutions: Amend Section 12 or Draft
a New Louisiana Revised Statute................................................. 989
Conclusion.................................................................................... 991
INTRODUCTION
In June 2018, Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen restaurant
in Virginia, asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
to leave her restaurant.1 Wilkinson asked Sanders to leave because she
viewed the Trump administration as “inhumane and unethical,” lacking
“honesty . . . compassion, and cooperation.”2 Sanders left without a fuss,
but public support and outcry rained down on the restaurant both online
and at the restaurant’s location.3 Despite the public response, the Red Hen
was within its rights to deny Sanders service based on her political
affiliation.4 As a restaurant, the Red Hen is subject to public
accommodations laws.5 Generally, a business is a public accommodation
when it serves a public interest.6 Although public accommodations laws
vary among jurisdictions, they typically list classifications protected from
1. Whitney Filloon, The Red Hen Didn’t Break the Law When It Kicked Out
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, EATER (June 26, 2018), https://www.eater.com/2018/
6/26/17505512/red-hen-discrimination-laws-sarah-huckabee-sanders [https://per
ma.cc/5WW5-JLT8].
2. Id.
3. Avi Selk & Sarah Murray, The Owner of the Red Hen Explains Why She
Asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave, WASH. POST (June 25, 2018), https://
www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/06/23/why-a-small-town -restaur
ant-owner-asked-sarah-huckabee-sanders-to-leave-and-would-do-it-again/?utm_
term=.b1a5c5329952 [https://perma.cc/UK5D-KG5W].
4. Filloon, supra note 1.
5. Sonia Rao, Did the Red Hen Violate Sa rah Huckabee Sanders’s Rights
When It Kicked Her Out?, WASH. POST (June 25, 2018), https://www.washington
post.com/news/food/wp/2018/06/25/was-sarah-huckabee-sanders-denied-public-
accommodation-when-a-restaurant-kicked-her-out/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.
7217ad133493 [https://perma.cc/P7Z4-ACL6].
6. German All. Ins. Co. v. Kansas, 233 U.S. 389, 408 (1914).

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