Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Libertarian groups intervene in BaketheCake case

These Groups Support Gay Marriage While Backing a Cake Baker’s First Amendment Rights - Elizabeth Slatterly & Kaitlyn Finlay, Daily Signal:

November 28, 2017. "The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Dec. 5, in what will be one of the most closely watched cases of the term.

This is the case of Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, who declined to design a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which resulted in a finding that Phillips engaged in sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the state’s public accommodation law.

"Now, the case is before the Supreme Court, and the justices will consider Phillips’ free speech and free exercise claims. More than 100 groups have filed amicus briefs supporting one side or the other....

"The Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and Individual Rights Foundation argue in their amicus brief that Phillips’ custom cakes are an artistic expression that deserves protection under the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

"The three groups cite Wooley v. Maynard, a 1976 Supreme Court decision that makes clear that the First Amendment protects against compelled speech.... In Wooley, the court ... explained that forcing people to 'becom[e] the courier[s] for … messages with which they disagree' interferes with the right to 'refuse to foster … an idea they find morally objectionable'....

"They also explain why the court should recognize Phillips’ trade of baking custom cakes as a form of art. They point out: 'The art of baking and decorating cakes, particularly wedding cakes, exhibits all the characteristics of other expressive formats that this Court has recognized as constitutionally protected.'

"The Supreme Court has previously found that many other forms of art qualify as speech—such as music without words, dance, theater, and movies. Even tattooing is considered expressive activity, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach (2010)'....

"But they draw the line at compelled expression, explaining that the First Amendment would not protect 'caterers, hotels, and limousine companies' if they asserted a free speech right to refuse services for same-sex weddings. That’s because the free speech clause covers expression—not 'all human endeavors.'

Read more: http://gdspoliticalanimal.blogspot.ca/2017/11/libertarian-groups-intervene-in.html
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