303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (2023)

Brief Summary of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Using IRAC Pattern

Issue: The issue in the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (2023) revolves around the question of whether applying Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) to compel a website designer to create websites for same-sex marriages, despite her religious beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman, violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

Rule: The relevant legal rules can be drawn from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the freedoms of speech and exercise of religion, and from prior Supreme Court cases that have addressed similar conflicts between anti-discrimination laws and First Amendment rights.

Application: In applying these rules, the Court would likely examine whether the act of creating a custom website for a same-sex marriage constitutes speech and whether forcing the designer to create such speech would violate her First Amendment rights. The Court would also need to analyze whether the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act serves a compelling state interest and whether it is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest without unduly burdening free speech or religious exercise.

Conclusion: The conclusion would rest on the Court’s analysis of the First Amendment implications weighed against the state’s interest in preventing discrimination, potentially setting a new standard for how similar cases are to be treated in the future.

Detailed IRAC Outline

Relevant Facts

  • 303 Creative LLC is a website design company.
  • Company owner holds a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
  • Colorado has an Anti-Discrimination Act that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in a public accommodation.
  • The owner of 303 Creative LLC refused to provide website design services for a same-sex wedding, citing religious beliefs.


  • Does the application of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act to compel a website designer to create content for same-sex weddings violate the First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion?


  • The First Amendment protects individuals from government actions that prohibit free speech or the free exercise of religion.
  • Anti-discrimination laws like CADA are designed to prevent discriminatory practices in public accommodations.
  • Precedent from cases such as Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission may provide guidance on balancing religious freedom and anti-discrimination.


  • Analyze whether creating a website is a form of expressive speech.
  • Determine if the compelled creation of a website for a same-sex wedding counts as compelled speech, which the First Amendment generally disfavors.
  • Evaluate the designer’s free exercise claim and whether her religious beliefs are substantially burdened by the application of CADA.
  • Examine the government’s interest in preventing discrimination and whether CADA is the least restrictive means of achieving this interest.
  • Consider the possibility of a middle ground that respects both free speech and anti-discrimination principles, such as an exemption for creative professionals or a distinction between customized and generic services.


  • The Court would conclude by either upholding or striking down the application of CADA to the website designer’s refusal to create content for same-sex weddings. The decision would have to balance the protection of religious and free speech rights against the state’s interest in eradicating discrimination. The outcome would set legal precedent for future conflicts between individual First Amendment rights and public anti-discrimination laws.

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