Some might argue it was just your average, friendly, quiet gathering of College Republicans from the University of Washington.
Then again, the GOP students advertised that their get-together at a Seattle bar was to hoist beers in celebration of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court following contentious hearings in which he was accused of sexual assault when he was a teenager.
In this handout photo provided by the Supreme Court of the United States, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as his wife Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible while joined by their daughters Margaret and Liza, in the Justices Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building on Saturday, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Fred Schilling/Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images)
The event's “Beers 4 Brett” moniker is presumably a reference to Kavanaugh’s “I liked beer, I still like beer” answer to one of the Senate Judiciary Committee's questions. And part of the Facebook announcement of Saturday evening's event also called it a celebration of "the failure of the lies and false claims against" the judge.
So as you might expect, some progressives apparently got angry and complained to Shultzy’s Bar and Grill, KTTH-AM reported.
How did the bar respond?
Shultzy posted a message of its own on Facebook to the College Republicans: “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."
Image source: KIRO-TV video screenshot
What did the College Republicans do in response?
“I thought that the left-wing activists who took notice of our event had lied to the restaurant about the nature of our event,” Chevy Swanson, the UW College Republicans president, told KTTH. “It seemed incredibly odd to deny service for a quiet gathering of College Republicans and guests.”
More from KTTH:
The bar’s discomfort with the event aside, there could have been a small problem if they were to enforce their request: Seattle prohibits discrimination on the basis of political ideology, one of the few cities in the country offering such protection. Indeed, it’s been controversial, as some Progressives argue it should be legal to discriminate against people who hold views counter to their own.
Swanson immediately contacted Bill Becker of Freedom X, the attorney who successfully sued UW on their behalf, after the school imposed onerous fees in a move to silence the group’s political activism.
“[Becker] advised us to call and explain that they can’t deny service over political leanings,” Swanson told KTTH. “We did, and they hung up on us.”
So Becker posted a warning to the Shultzy’s Facebook page, the station said: If you deny service to the College Republicans, Freedom X will sue.
With that, Swanson and over a dozen fellow members of the GOP group went to Shultzy's as planned — and even told the staff flat out they were there for their advertised gathering.
“We asked for a table, and they served us,” Swanson told KTTH.
Swanson told the station that their treatment at the hands of progressives and the bar wasn't much different than how they're typically treated for being conservative, especially in a liberal city — but also they're not done standing up for their beliefs.
“It’s shown that it’s clear that the tension against conservatives around here has hit a boiling point where even the smallest public showing of support of conservative ideas is a point of contention and that there is no reason to roll over to hostility like that,” Swanson also told KTTH.
The station said Shultzy’s Bar and Grill didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.