A College Republican group at the University of Washington has threatened to sue a local bar after the bar in question asked the group not to host its “Beers 4 Brett” party there. Local station KIRO7 reports that, after seeing the group’s Facebook event designed to celebrate the Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Shultzy’s Bar and Grill requested that the event be held elsewhere.
The bar, per KIRO7, posted on the following message on the group’s Facebook event (We were unable to locate the initial post):
“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.”
Chevy Swanson, the president of UW’s College Republicans, said of the event: “We’re happy this is all over, we wanted to grab a beer—you know, kind of a little of a joke. We all know Brett Kavanaugh likes a beer... It’s very disheartening just to see something like this would get shut down, or be asked to shut down for not any good reason.”
An attorney representing the group told Swanson that “in Seattle, that’s illegal. Because political opinion, political ideology is a protected class like any other.”
Raw Story reports that about 15 members of the group patronized the bar on Saturday anyway, and were permitted to stay.
Deedee Sun of KIRO7 spoke with constitutional law expert Jeffery Needle, who said the bar broke no laws, though the statute Swason references does indeed exist:
“They’re free to request all they like. If the group says too bad, ‘You’re required to admit us,’ and the bar says, ‘Oh no, you cannot come in,’ then at least potentially this group could have a claim,” Needle said.
But he said hypothetically, if the bar denied all political events—be it Democrat, Republican, or a “Save the Whales” event—then the bar would be in the clear.
“Then they’re not treating one ideology different from any other ideology and they’re not violating the statute,” Needle said.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing religious beliefs.
Schultzy’s menu does not include any pasta dishes, so a Kavanaugh tribute might have been better held elsewhere. They do have ketchup, though.