U.S. Supreme Court hears Masterpiece Cake Shop same-sex wedding cake case

Baker: free speech, Couple: discrimination
Posted at 4:00 PM, Dec 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 04:58:44-05

DENVER – In what could be one of the premiere cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this session, Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cake Shop will take center stage in Washington, D.C. this week.

The case began back in 2012 when Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood hoping to order a cake for their same-sex wedding.   

Owner Jack Phillips refused, saying it violated his religious freedom and First Amendment rights. That decision is now sending the case to the highest court in the nation.

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“What the case boils down to is Jack Phillips and his attorneys arguing this is a case of expression that should be allowed,” Denver Post Washington bureau correspondent Mark Matthews told our sister station Denver7’s Marc Stewart on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “On the other side, the couple is arguing they are being discriminated against for who they are and for the Court here they have to decide whose liberties are being infringed on here.”

Among the decision makers will be Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The newly installed justice from Colorado has a track record of rulings that side with individuals and religious liberties. Matthews said he expects Gorsuch to fill the conservative void on the court left by late justice Antonin Scalia. He said the real Justice to watch during this case will be Anthony Kennedy who cast the deciding vote in the 5-4 case that legalized gay marriage.

“We have seen dozens of briefs from all across the country. The ACLU, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce was involved, bakers, religious groups, it’s amazing,” Matthews said. “There are thousands of pages here that the justices had to go through. What all of these briefs are focused on is trying to get Kennedy to come to their cause because he’s key here.”