Supreme Court — 11th Amendment: Right to Bake
In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked baker Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado to bake a cake to celebrate their planned wedding, which would be performed in another state.
Phillips, a devout Christian, refused citing his Christian beliefs that homosexual marriage was not endorsed or recognized by his particular Christian faith.
Mullins and Craig took Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop to court and the bakery was fined several thousand dollars for, in the eyes of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and the judgement of the appellate courts, against Phillip’s clearly discriminatory anti-LGBT stance.
The lower courts upheld that Colorado was within its rights to force the baker to violate his religious beliefs.
Bake the cake or suffer a large fine that would have probably forced the business to close its doors.
Contradictory Points of View
On the one hand you have same sex marriage laws that would allow the wedding in their chosen state.
On the other hand, you have someone who believes strongly in the first amendment protection of religion and the practice thereof.
So, who’s right? That was the question placed before the Supreme Court.
Surprisingly the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker. He was within his rights to not create a work of art, a custom cake, that went against his religious beliefs.
The court ruled 7-2 that Phillips had the right to refuse to bake a custom cake for this wedding under first amendment protection.
Because Justice Clarence Thomas concurred in part, the judgment of the court on the case was 7-2 but the opinion on the rationale was 6-2.
Some Final Thoughts
While I‘m not a lawyer I don’t believe this ruling was a setback, or an advancement, of any political agenda. This is a single case based solely on its own merits.
I doubt that bakers all over the nation are suddenly going to refuse to bake cakes for same sex couples.
Also, in order to be sexually discriminatory, a baker would have to say no goods of any kind sold to gays. That was not the history of this case.
Phillips sold to gays and other protected groups. Just not wedding cakes.
He also refused to do cakes celebrating Halloween. A holiday he felt also violated his religious beliefs.
No Halloween abuse there I guess because ghosts and goblins are not a protected class.
No, this case will not set prescient for future cases in my opinion. Bits and pieces of it might be brought in to some cases but I think this is one of a kind. What’s your opinion?