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June 04, 2018

Supreme Court Rules 7-2 In Favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Persecuted by Colorado Civil Rights Commission for Refusing to Bake the Cake

The Court, unfortunately, did not rule that the Bake Me a Cake, Bigot law was itself unconstitutional, only that the members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed a "hostility" and "animus" to religion that made this particular decision invalid.

The Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker on Monday in a closely watched case pitting gay rights against claims of religious freedom.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in the 7-2 decision, relied on narrow grounds, saying a state commission had violated the Constitution's protection of religious freedom in ruling against the baker, Jack Phillips, who had refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple.

"The neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here," Justice Kennedy wrote. "The Civil Rights Commission's treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection."

The Supreme Court's decision, which turned on the commission’s asserted hostility to religion, strongly reaffirmed protections for gay rights and left open the possibility that other cases raising similar issues could be decided differently.


"The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts," Justice Kennedy wrote, "all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market."

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Elena Kagan and Neil M. Gorsuch joined the majority opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas voted with the majority but would have adopted broader reasons.

Note that Hawaiian Judges have previously ruled that Trump's alleged animus and hostility to Muslims makes his travel ban unconstitutional, even though such measures are generally constitutional. I don't think this an analogous case (this case involves a tribunal ruling against a specific person, whereas the travel ban involves an executive action previously deemed constitutional; the court did not rule here that the Colorado commission's bias makes the entire law unconstitutional, which is the outlook pushed by Hawaiian Judges), but we'll see if the left pushes that angle.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:30 PM

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