SCOTUS Hears Masterpiece Cakeshop Case


ABC News reports that Kennedy has expressed sympathy for both sides of the case: He said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not appear to be "tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs", but also noted that ruling in Phillips' favor could lead to shops putting up signs like "We do not bake cakes for gay weddings".

The high court ruled that states must give same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples or else the state would be giving same-sex couples "disparate treatment", something forbidden under Obergefell.

Thus far, Craig and Mullins have won at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state Court of Appeals. At the same time, Kennedy has forcefully defended free-speech rights in his almost 30 years as a justice. She said the Supreme Court's constrained discourse regulation "prohibits the commission from requesting that craftsmen outline custom articulation that passes on thoughts they consider shocking".

In 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins visited Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, to order a custom wedding cake. So when gay marriage opponents came out of the woodwork, threatening to vote the all-Republican court off the bench if it didn't reconsider its decision - their argument being this was a great opportunity to restrict the effects of Obergefell - the Texas court took note. Craig, 37, and Mullins, 33, are fighting for the rights of LGBT customers to choose what they will buy.

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Waggoner contended that a man seeing one of Phillips' custom wedding cakes - his "aesthetic articulation" - would "comprehend that it celebrates and communicates bolster for the couple's marriage".

"This case is about more than us, and it's not about cakes", Mullins said in an interview.

Similarly, Banzhaf's published analysis had suggested that a baker who refused to bake a swastika-shaped cake for a white supremacist group would not be guilty of illegally discriminating on the basis of race if he had a policy against baking a cake in the shape of a swastika, whether it is ordered by a German Nazi sympathizer, a racist fraternity, a Jewish student seeking to "take back" the hated symbol (similar to a recent situation at GWU), an insensitive person who wanted it as a joke, etc. While she argued that the free exercise clause forbids the commission from targeting Phillips "and like-minded believers for punishment", she reserved the bulk of her brief for the free speech clause, perhaps targeting Kennedy, who has at times shown an expansive view of free speech. "It's about the right of gay people to receive equal service". "I don't feel like we asked for a piece of art, or for him to make a statement, we simply asked him for a cake, and he denied that to us simply because of who we are". "The inquiry, rather, is whether the Constitution gifts organizations open to general society the privilege to disregard laws against segregation in the business commercial center if the business happens to offer a creative item". The answer, Cole contends, is "no".

The Trump organization sides with Phillips for the situation, contending that it falls "inside the little arrangement of uses of substance nonpartisan laws that legitimacy elevated examination" from the courts. "Accordingly, the government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write". "If that's the case, how do you draw a line?"