July 4: How South Carolina BBQ Got Mentioned In The Hobby Lobby Case

Justice Ginsburg mentioned South Carolina BBQ in her minority decision referring to the Piggie Park Chain.  The owner, Maurice Bessinger said “ I want to be known as a hard-working, Christian man that loves God and wants to further (God’s) work throughout the world as I have been doing throughout the last 25 years,” @@!

Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, was being decided at a time when not only Piggy Park and the old confederate states but most of America had religious objections to interracial marriage.  and many preachers made the religious case for segregation. Efforts to defend the purported right of Christian schools to discriminate against African Americans greatly shaped the modern-day Religious Right.

Back then in 1968 the Supreme Court threw out Piggie Park’s “patently frivolous” claims fees:

Indeed, this is not even a borderline case, for the respondents interposed defenses so patently frivolous that a denial of counsel fees to the petitioners would be manifestly inequitable. Thus, for example, the “fact that the defendants had discriminated both at [the] drive-ins and at [the sandwich shop] was . . . denied . . . [although] the defendants could not and did not undertake at the trial to support their denials. Includable in the same category are defendants’ contention, twice pleaded after the decision in Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U. S. 294, . . . that the Act was unconstitutional on the very grounds foreclosed by McClung, and defendants’ contention that the Act was invalid because it ‘contravenes the will of God’ and constitutes an interference with the ‘free exercise of the Defendant’s religion.'”