Yesterday, the Trump administration submitted an amicus brief in the upcoming Supreme Court case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
This case, if you recall, arises from the refusal of the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, to design and produce a wedding cake to celebrate a homosexual “marriage.” This was a vindictive act by a couple of stereotypes of the high-strung-chip-on-shoulder-worship-my-buggery homosexual activists.
Phillips made clear to them that they could buy anything in his shop but he was not going to undertake this particular commission because it placed him in the position of supporting homosexual “marriage”–something that was not even recognized as legal in Colorado at the time (this case started in July 2012).
The administration is taking the side of the baker:
In a major upcoming Supreme Court case that weighs equal rights with religious liberty, the Trump administration on Thursday sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.
As Ed Morrissey points out, just because the Supreme Court is taking this case isn’t necessarily a great sign:
…The court had refused to grant cert for Elane Photography, a New Mexico case with almost identical circumstances; the denial left the penalties against the photographer in place for refusing to work at a same-sex wedding ceremony. That meant that fewer than four justices wanted to review it at that time, while Antonin Scalia was still alive and conservatives had at least four votes.
That’s pretty much the same situation as today, which may mean only that one more of the conservatives finally decided that the court needed to rule precedentially on this matter. That may not be great news for conservatives, especially since Anthony Kennedy remains the likely swing vote. After writing Obergefell, which raised same-sex marriage to a constitutional right, Kennedy may want to rework the First Amendment to limit freedom of expression to fit into that new paradigm. It’s a risk, but at this point, religious liberty advocates appear to have nothing to lose on the bake-the-damned-cake front.
We’ll see what happens.