News Worms
News Worms


Kennedy a Toss-Up in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

Kennedy a Toss-Up in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the 2015 opinion that sanctioned same-sex marriage, is considered the crucial swing vote in the case.

All eyes were on Kennedy throughout the 75-minute argument. "The hair stylist?. The makeup artist?"

Kennedy anxious about the dignity of same sex couples. A state trial court initially sided with them, but after the 2015 Obergefell decision, an appeals court reversed that ruling. They said the court has never recognized what they call a constitutional right to discriminate. But he also accused Colorado officials of exhibiting a "hostility to religion". And tolerance is most meaningful when it's mutual.

Speaking outside of court after the justices heard the case, baker Jack Phillips said the five-year court fight has "been very hard on me and my family".

The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand [order list, PDF] a Texas Supreme Court ruling that did not extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples under employee insurance plans. The nation's highest federal court agreed to review the case in June this year.

The men disclosed to Phillips they needed a cake to commend their arranged wedding, which would be performed in another state. He declined because using his artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex marriage would violate his Christian faith and his artistic freedom.

Flash forward to 2012, when same sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado, but two men walked into the bakery.

"The discussion was genuinely short", Philips recalled. "I went over and greeted them. We sat down at the work area where I had my wedding books open". The two men planned to throw a party locally in celebration of having been legally married in MA.

"When we have someone that is sketching and sculpting and hand-designing something, that is creating a temporary sculpture that serves as the centerpiece of what they believe to be a religious wedding celebration", Waggoner said. He offered to make some other heated products for the men.

"At which point they both stormed out and left", he said.

The ACLU is representing Craig and Mullins.

By all appearances, the case will divide the justices along ideological lines. She said that Phillips is protected by two parts of the First Amendment: its protections of religious exercise and free speech.

Phillips said he couldn't design a custom wedding cake for two men who requested it. Backers of Craig and Mullins countered: "Love wins". Although the customer claimed that the refusal to provide a cake with this message was "demeaning to his beliefs", the agency said the owner could refuse to put a message on cakes which included "derogatory language and imagery", provided it would do so for all customers. "It's about the right of gay people to receive equal service".

"This isn't about creative articulation", said Craig. "We were publicly humiliated for who we were".

The couple is being spoken to in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Cole said that whether a cake is an artistic expression is not at issue. The answer, Cole contends, is "no".

Twenty different states and the District of Columbia in like manner explicitly deny spots of open convenience from separating on the premise of sexual introduction, as indicated by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Trump administration sides with Phillips in the case, arguing that it falls "within the small set of applications of content-neutral laws that merit heightened scrutiny" from the courts. "A custom wedding cake isn't a normal prepared great; its capacity is more informative and aesthetic than utilitarian", Solicitor General Noel Francisco contended.

"Artists shouldn't be forced to express what the government dictates".

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