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Christian Baker Likely Headed to SCOTUS Again as Persecution from LGBT Crowd Hits New Low

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CORRECTION, June 24, 2024: Jack Phillips is the Christian baker who is being sued. An earlier version of this article had a different name.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking for a surefire business success, I have an idea for you: open a bakery in Colorado.

This is because, nearest I can tell, there’s only one and it’s owned by a devout Christian. And — wouldn’t you know it? — there’s apparently this incredible demand for cakes celebrating occasions that are directly opposed to this baker’s deeply held religious values. Also, apparently nobody can bake out there.

So, get there quick and open up your cake shop, and I guarantee you that you’ll be rolling in the cash in the gay marriage and gender transition confection market.

To be fair, I haven’t done market research — but this is the only conclusion I can draw from the fact that baker Jack Phillips finds himself in court again as part of a decade-long battle over his refusal to make cakes for occasions that violate his First Amendment right to exercise his religion.

According to the Washington Times, the latest case — Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Phillips’ bakery — involves his refusal to bake a blue-and-pink gender transition cake. The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on Tuesday, which involved a request to bake a cake from seven years ago. You read that correctly.

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“Inside the courtroom, the seven judges focused on the cake — blue on the outside, pink on the inside — that Autumn Scardina requested in 2017 to celebrate the first anniversary of her gender transition,” the Times reported.

“Masterpiece declined to make the custom cake after learning what it represented.”

And boy, if you thought now-Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson was dense when she couldn’t answer what a woman was during her confirmation hearings, let me introduce you to Colorado Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart, who came up with a hypothetical that has to be heard to be believed and may not be believed even then.

According to the Times, the justice “listed examples of how identical blue-pink cakes could be used for four different occasions, including a gender transition; the birthday of boy-and-girl twins; the loss in utero of fraternal twins, or no occasion at all.”

Should Jack Phillips be allowed to counter-sue for millions every person who put him through this legal hell?

“Those four cakes could go to the wrong houses, and it wouldn’t matter,” Justice Hart said.

“It’s pink cakes with blue icing. And if they go to the wrong houses, such as that the one that was for the fraternal twins went to the transition home, it wouldn’t matter. It’s the same cake.”

Except there weren’t four cakes. There was one cake. It was a gender transition cake. And it done by a transgender activist specifically to troll Phillips and drag him into court again. This is giving the phrase “justice is blind” a whole new meaning.

Phillips’ attorney, Jake Warner of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, noted that “even the same words can express different things depending on the context,” quoting the majority opinion of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2015’s Yates v. United States.

“For example, ‘my body, my rights’ might mean one thing to an abortion advocate, and mean something totally different to an anti-vaxxer,” Warner argued.

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“Here, just because Phillips could create an identical-looking cake doesn’t mean that he can create this cake that expresses a message that goes against his beliefs.”

Instead, Warner said, the meaning of the cake was crucial because “the compelled speech doctrine protects the individual freedom of mind.”

The compelled speech doctrine is a principle of First Amendment jurisprudence which states that the government can’t force any individual to support certain forms of expression, verbally or non-verbally.

The case came after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission settled with Phillips after Scardina’s complaint regarding the cake. Scardina was unhappy with the settlement, however, and has won at both trial and appeals court.

Given that all seven justices on the Colorado Supreme Court were appointed by Democrats, too, it’s entirely likely Phillips will lose there — and the case will go to the Supreme Court after he faces that judicial firing squad.

His chances are better at the high court, considering the precedent of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. In that 2023 case, the court said that that Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws involving LGBT individuals did not mean the state could force individuals to create or sell products against their religious beliefs.

In that case, a Christian web designer was sued because she wouldn’t create wedding sites for same-sex couples. During oral arguments, attorneys for Scardina argued that, because that content creator would “produce a final story for each couple using her own words and her own original artwork,” it differed from this case.

Whatever the matter, one thing is clear: Either there’s one cake shop in the entire state of Colorado or the left is basically intent on targeted lawfare to bankrupt a Christian businessman.

Phillips, however, isn’t bending the knee to the woke mob.

“Over the last 10 years, Colorado officials and activists have tried to punish me for my religious beliefs,” the baker said in a media briefing outside the courthouse.

“They have even tried to change my beliefs. Through all this, I believe firmly that free speech is for everyone, and no one should be forced to express a message that they don’t believe.”

Enough is enough. It’s time for the left to find a new bogeyman — and a new bakery, while they’re at it.


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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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