John West Interviewed about Seattle’s Untold Prohibition Against Discrimination Based On Political Ideology

An existing Seattle law expressly forbids businesses from discriminating on the basis of “political ideology” when contracting for goods or services.

In an interview on the cable news show Tipping Point, Discovery Institute Vice President John West explains how far-reaching the Seattle law is and examines the dramatic impact it could have on Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple, among other tech giants.

As West explains in more detail in an article for Mind Matters News, the law would seem to provide a clear ground for legal action against tech companies that reject apps, ban films, censor books, or deny advertising or other services based on the political viewpoint of the material being rejected.

West points out that “a person doesn’t necessarily have to live in Seattle or even Washington State in order to file legal action under the law.”

For tech companies headquartered in Seattle like Amazon, the Seattle law potentially allows any customer or business from any state to bring legal action against Amazon for discrimination based on political ideology. According to an attorney cited in West’s article, remedies under the law include “injunctive relief, orders requiring affirmative action, and punitive damages.”“The Seattle anti-discrimination law packs a punch,” writes West. “Damages requested under the law could be severe.”

For tech companies with offices in Seattle but not headquartered there, legal liability would be more limited, but lawsuits could likely still be brought. West explains how in his article.“It remains to be seen whether anyone will actually use Seattle’s fair contracting ordinance to take on big tech censorship,” writes West. “But if they do, Seattle could soon become ground zero in the battle against big tech.”

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.