(CNN) -- As the Supreme Court gathered for more than two hours on Monday to discuss whether a graphic designer can refuse to do business with same-sex couples, the justices somehow strayed into dueling hypotheticals concerning Black and White Santas and dating websites.Hypotheticals are nothing new at the high court as the justices probe how cases before the court could impact different challenges down the road.
But Monday's hypothetical was unusually awkward, with a reference to children wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit to visit Santa Claus.It all began when Justice Ketanji Jackson expressed some alarm about the extent of arguments put forward by the graphic designer, Lorie Smith, who wants to expand her business to celebrate marriages, but does not want to work with same-sex couples out of religious objections to same-sex marriage."Can I ask you a hypothetical that just sort of helps me flesh" this out, Jackson asked a lawyer for the designer.Jackson wanted to know about a photography business in a hypothetical shopping mall during the holiday season that offers a product called "Scenes with Santa." She said the photographer wants to express his own view of nostalgia about Christmases past by reproducing 1940s and 1950s Santa scenes in sepia tone."Their policy is that only White children can be photographed with Santa," Jackson said and noted that according to her hypothetical, the photographer is willing to refer families of color to the Santa at "the other end of the mall" who will take anybody, and they will photograph families of color.Jackson asked Kristen Waggoner, Smith's lawyer, "why isn't your argument that they should be able to do that?"Waggoner finally said that there are "difficult lines to draw" and said.