Go into almost any business, particularly a restaurant, and you might see a posting that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” This is perfectly lawful.
But you can’t refuse service for just any old reason. The government said so. You can’t refuse to serve someone because he’s Black. Or Jewish. Or White. Or because she’s a woman. Or disabled. Or Muslim.
The federal government says that you can’t refuse service on the basis of:
- national origin
- familial status
- disability status
- veteran status
You can’t. That’s all there is to it.
“Well, I own the restaurant!” you declare. “Why can’t I decide who I will and won’t serve, however I want to?”
You own the restaurant, but the government lets you own it, you see. The government decides what you have to do to be able to own it and to keep owning it. Government-created infrastructure and government-mandated regulation of commerce make it possible for you to be in business.
The government’s got its hands all over and all into your restaurant. (It’s got its hand in the till, too.)
It gets to tell you how you can run your restaurant. That includes laying down the rules for refusing service.
“This is government going too far!” you and Rand Paul might insist. Maybe. Government has a way of doing that.
Somebody is always thinking that the government’s gone too far. And somebody is always thinking that it hasn’t gone far enough. One act of government can create both criticisms!
No matter what it does, somebody’s not going to like it. Guaranteed.