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Tags: supreme court | cake | masterpiece cakeshop | first amendment

Supreme Court Cake Case a Battle of Freedom Versus Tyranny

Supreme Court Cake Case a Battle of Freedom Versus Tyranny
Cake artist Jack Phillips (C) speaks to members of the media in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on December 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Tuesday, 05 December 2017 04:39 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that will determine who we are as a nation. We either stand for the freedom the Pilgrims sought when they arrived on our shores, or we’ll be held hostage to the tyrannical demands of a militant minority.

The controversy began in July of 2012 when Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop to design and decorate a wedding cake. Bakery owner Jack Phillips declined, citing his deeply-held religious beliefs.

The couple complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which ruled in their favor.

Conflicting Interests

"This case has never been about cakes," Mullins claimed. "It's about the rights of gay people to receive equal service in business and not be afraid of being turned away because of who they are. It's about basic access to public life."

But there’s more to it than that. No government should have the power to force a business owner to act against his deeply-held convictions.

What Phillips was asked to do isn’t the same as selling doughnuts or a baguette. By designing a wedding cake, the baker dedicates his artistry to the ceremony and becomes an active, willing participant.

"I serve everybody that comes in: gay, straight, Catholic, Muslim, atheist. I welcome everybody into my shop," Phillips told Fox News. "I just don't create cakes for every event that's presented to me."

The lawyer who argued on his behalf sees a win as benefitting each party.

“My hope is that the court will use this case as an opportunity to say, ‘We’re protecting the liberty of both sides,’” Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom said.

New Ally

It’s fortunate that it took five long years for the case to finally make its way through the federal court system. The change in political leadership during that period meant that Phillips gained an ally he was previously denied — the Department of Justice.

"When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed," acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the DOJ brief.

"Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights."

Legal Versus Mandatory

Two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that same-sex marriages were legal in all 50 states. I didn’t support the decision, but my beliefs had nothing to do with being anti-civil rights, homophobic, or anti-gay. It had everything to do with where it would all lead.

If a same-sex couple wants to celebrate a civil union that’s up to them. But the word marriage has religious connotations. We often speak of the sacrament and sanctity of marriage.

That case was decided on the 14th Amendment, which provides that no state may “... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The late Justice Antonin Scalia observed in a dissenting opinion that when that amendment was ratified in 1868, "every state limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so."

Likewise, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his own dissenting opinion that the decision "had nothing to do with" the Constitution.

Associate Justice Clarence Thomas observed that the decision would likely have repercussions.

"The majority's inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a separate dissent.

And that’s my fear — that the court’s illusory, manufactured gay marriage “right” will intrude upon those expressed in the Constitution — most particularly the First Amendment freedoms of expression and religion.

When gay marriage becomes a right, what’s to stop a same-sex Catholic couple from demanding that a priest marry them — or a protestant couple demanding a minister, a Jewish couple a rabbi, or a Muslim couple an imam.

Think it can’t happen? Ask a Colorado baker.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the gay marriage case. He was the swing vote — the pivotal member of the court then. He’ll likely be the deciding vote on this one and he gave court observers mixed messages.

Although he appeared troubled that the baker might advertise that he won’t make wedding cakes for gay couples, he added that tolerance was a two-way street, and the State of Colorado had “neither been tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’s religious beliefs.”

Let me help. It’s not about tolerance and respect; it’s about liberty and tyranny.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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MichaelDorstewitz
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that will determine who we are as a nation. We either stand for the freedom the Pilgrims sought when they arrived on our shores, or we’ll be held hostage to the tyrannical demands of a militant minority.
supreme court, cake, masterpiece cakeshop, first amendment
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2017-39-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 04:39 PM
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