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Masterpiece Cake Shop religious freedom case at Supreme Court

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SCOTUS has the the transcripts available same day, here; audio is generally available by the end of the week.

Looks like Kennedy will be the key vote (again). My liberal attorney friend thinks it's going to end up 5-4 in favor of the cake maker. I'm not so certain. As Breyer and some of the other liberal members of the Court pressed in their questioning: how do you go about drawing a line that is going to respect the religious beliefs of those like Phillips without causing all sorts of other problems. I think that it ought to be possible to come up with some sort of guideline, but I'm skeptical that the Court will want to tackle that. I guess we'll see in a few months.

 

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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

SCOTUS has the the transcripts available same day, here; audio is generally available by the end of the week.

Looks like Kennedy will be the key vote (again). My liberal attorney friend thinks it's going to end up 5-4 in favor of the cake maker. I'm not so certain. As Breyer and some of the other liberal members of the Court pressed in their questioning: how do you go about drawing a line that is going to respect the religious beliefs of those like Phillips without causing all sorts of other problems. I think that it ought to be possible to come up with some sort of guideline, but I'm skeptical that the Court will want to tackle that. I guess we'll see in a few months.

 

I think drawing the line is the real issue in this case about speech and compelled speech. If they rule in favor of the gay couple, will artists have a right to choose their clients at all. "And I would submit, just to finish up, that if you were to disagree with our basic principle, putting aside the line about whether a cake falls on speech or non-speech side of the line, you really are envisioning a situation in which you could force, for example, a gay opera singer to perform at the Westboro Baptist Church just because that opera singer would be willing to perform at the National Cathedral." It also goes the other way too. The Supreme Courts ruling on this case could have far reaching consequences far beyond gay marriage and cake baking. Thanks for the posting the transcript...I'm off to finish reading it.

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2 hours ago, Amulek said:

....................................................................

Looks like Kennedy will be the key vote (again). My liberal attorney friend thinks it's going to end up 5-4 in favor of the cake maker. I'm not so certain. As Breyer and some of the other liberal members of the Court pressed in their questioning: how do you go about drawing a line that is going to respect the religious beliefs of those like Phillips without causing all sorts of other problems. I think that it ought to be possible to come up with some sort of guideline, but I'm skeptical that the Court will want to tackle that. I guess we'll see in a few months.

Exactly.  What will we hear next?  That anti-Black Christian Identity people feel offended that they must bake a cake for a Black wedding?  Or how about anti-Mormon discrimination in public accommodations?  Should my contempt for Mormon heretics make it possible for me to refuse to rent or sell to Mormons?  All on the basis of my freedom of religion.  Mormons are already prohibited from attending many evangelical seminaries -- one must accept and sign a tightly written creedal statement.

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I am hoping they will find some middle ground.  What if they rule that the bakers cannot refuse to make a cake for a gay couple, but they can refuse to put something on the cake that they find offensive to their beliefs?  

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A baker can refuse to put obscene or criminal statements on a cake. What that baker can't legally do is refuse to sell his/her cakes to you.

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I hope they rule in favor of cake. I prefer a good pie but cake is still very good.

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The cake is a lie.

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

The cake is a lie.

I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh no!

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25 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

A baker can refuse to put obscene or criminal statements on a cake. What that baker can't legally do is refuse to sell his/her cakes to you.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Exactly.  What will we hear next?  That anti-Black Christian Identity people feel offended that they must bake a cake for a Black wedding?  Or how about anti-Mormon discrimination in public accommodations?  Should my contempt for Mormon heretics make it possible for me to refuse to rent or sell to Mormons?  All on the basis of my freedom of religion.  Mormons are already prohibited from attending many evangelical seminaries -- one must accept and sign a tightly written creedal statement.

I would encourage everyone to read the transcript. It dealt with many hypothetical situations and the issue of race. I think the issues and far reaching consequences of  this decision by the court are well understood by both sides. I am no lawyer, but the ruling could end up favoring Mr. Phillips because the Colorado Commission is found to have treated Mr. Phillips differently than others. They could be found to have discriminated against Mr. Phillips because of his religious beliefs because they upheld upholding other peoples rights to object to messages or services but not Mr. Phillips. The defense also presented evidence of an anti-religious bias by at least one member of the commission. This will be interesting to see what the court decides but the court fully understands the potential ramifications of their decision. 

Edited by bsjkki

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47 minutes ago, Calm said:

The cake is a lie.

There is no sense crying over every mistake.

We will keep on trying till we run out of cake.

And the science gets done and we make a neat gun.

For the people who are still alive.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Exactly.  What will we hear next?  That anti-Black Christian Identity people feel offended that they must bake a cake for a Black wedding?  Or how about anti-Mormon discrimination in public accommodations?  Should my contempt for Mormon heretics make it possible for me to refuse to rent or sell to Mormons?  All on the basis of my freedom of religion.  Mormons are already prohibited from attending many evangelical seminaries -- one must accept and sign a tightly written creedal statement.

As a Mormon, I would find such a thing annoying -- perhaps even bigoted -- but I wouldn't make a court case out of it.

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On 12/5/2017 at 4:48 PM, bsjkki said:

"But Kennedy worried that one of the remedies Colorado enforced—that Phillips had to train the bakery staff that the law in Colorado prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation—further infringed on his religion. Phillips had to tell his family, Kennedy said, “that state law, in this case, supersedes our religious beliefs.” Justice Gorsuch suggested the training might be “compelled speech and possibly in violation of his free-exercise rights” because he would have to tell his staff and family “that his Christian beliefs are discriminatory.”...

 

 

This is the aspect of the case that has bothered me most from the get-go. That the state can force people to undergo "training" against their values and religious beliefs. It smacks too much of totalitarian regimes that force people to undergo reprogramming to make them more compliant. I find the whole idea very worrisome and ominous. I hope the court slaps down the Colorado state government on this, if nothing else.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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18 hours ago, bsjkki said:

I am listening to the analysis of the arguments in the Masterpiece Cake case before the Supreme Court. Three quotes from Justice Kennedy stand out. https://www.thenation.com/article/justice-kennedy-appears-ready-to-undo-his-own-legacy-on-lgbtq-rights/  Kennedy is expected to be the swing vote in this case. 

“Tolerance,” Kennedy bluntly told Colorado’s Solicitor General, Frederick Yarger, “is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”...

But Kennedy worried that one of the remedies Colorado enforced—that Phillips had to train the bakery staff that the law in Colorado prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation—further infringed on his religion. Phillips had to tell his family, Kennedy said, “that state law, in this case, supersedes our religious beliefs.” Justice Gorsuch suggested the training might be “compelled speech and possibly in violation of his free-exercise rights” because he would have to tell his staff and family “that his Christian beliefs are discriminatory.”...

The debate over whether Phillips refused to serve an event rather than people appeared to pique Kennedy’s interest as well. “Your identity thing is just too facile,” he told Cole. In other words, it’s about religious beliefs against same-sex marriage, not discrimination against a gay couple. “He [Phillips] says but I just don’t think they should have a marriage because that’s contrary to my beliefs,” said Kennedy. “It’s not their identity. It’s what they’re doing.”

 

 

 

 

If you look at some of the analysis, it is that the statment about intolerance might have result in a remand of the for an unbiased ruling.

I agree with ruling in favor of the baker to the extent that it covers messages (text) but not to the point of baking and none textual decorations. A full ruling in favor of the baker would “permit every [person] to become a law unto [themself]. Governments could exist only in name under such circumstances.”

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IMO, It will come down a 5/4 decision in favor of the cake maker mainly because compelled conduct (forced to write something that one does not believe in, or forced group therapy, or forced random checks on paper work to make sure cake maker is in compliance) is a First Amendment violation (and a Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violation of due process).

I for one am strongly on the side of the cake maker for this reason.

Edited by Anijen

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I hope they gather the cake bakers who want to discriminate and the litigating couple who want to sue over this and force them to fight to the death in an arena with crocodiles and lions in it. Then no one makes it out and the world is a better place.

Edited by The Nehor

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28 minutes ago, Anijen said:

IMO, It will come down a 5/4 decision in favor of the cake maker mainly because compelled conduct (forced to write something that one does not believe in, or forced group therapy, or forced random checks on paper work to make sure cake maker is in compliance) is a First Amendment violation (and a Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violation of due process).

I for one am strongly on the side of the cake maker for this reason.

Or the photographer or the baker could be forced to cater at the event?   Which makes it harder for the person to avoid the "appearance of evil" or be seen to participate in the ceremony that he does not believe in.

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30 minutes ago, longview said:

Or the photographer or the baker could be forced to cater at the event?   Which makes it harder for the person to avoid the "appearance of evil" or be seen to participate in the ceremony that he does not believe in.

Yes! exactly my point.

To reiterate, my point is: compelled conduct against ones religious beliefs is a First Amendment violation. Compelled conduct in the form of remedies, for example forced group therapy for discrimination, forced to write something one does not believe in, and forced submission to random checks on business records (without a warrant) also violates the 4th and 14th Amendments.

Grammar nannies, (longview is not one), I am fully aware they have a choice to disobey. However, I use the term forced here because of the possible incarceration (vis-a-vie contempt of court, due process) or by the fining of over $135,000 (could be more to date) in which that deprives property (Fourth Amendment), forced group therapy for cake baker employees for discrimination (is forcing a compelled belief system) a First Amendment violation, and ordered to submit to random searches of cake baker's business records to make sure he is in compliance to past unlawful court orders (without a warrant) is also a Fourth Amendment violation.

The above are many reasons I hope SCOTUS finds in favor of the cake baker.

Edited by Anijen

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25 minutes ago, Anijen said:

Yes! exactly my point.

To reiterate, my point is: compelled conduct against ones religious beliefs is a First Amendment violation. Compelled conduct in the form of remedies, for example forced group therapy for discrimination, forced to write something one does not believe in, and forced submission to random checks on business records (without a warrant) also violates the 4th and 14th Amendments.

Grammar nannies, (longview is not one), I am fully aware they have a choice to disobey. However, I use the term forced here because of the possible incarceration (vis-a-vie contempt of court, due process) or by the fining of over $135,000 (could be more to date) in which that deprives property (Fourth Amendment), forced group therapy for cake baker employees for discrimination (is forcing a compelled belief system) a First Amendment violation, and ordered to submit to random searches of cake baker's business records to make sure he is in compliance to past unlawful court orders (without a warrant) is also a Fourth Amendment violation.

The above are many reasons I hope SCOTUS finds in favor of the cake baker.

Yep. A lot of compelled conduct in this one case.

I would hope SCOTUS would establish here that we are still living in the United States of America, not Stalinist Russia.

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1 hour ago, Anijen said:

Yes! exactly my point.

To reiterate, my point is: compelled conduct against ones religious beliefs is a First Amendment violation. Compelled conduct in the form of remedies, for example forced group therapy for discrimination, forced to write something one does not believe in, and forced submission to random checks on business records (without a warrant) also violates the 4th and 14th Amendments.

Grammar nannies, (longview is not one), I am fully aware they have a choice to disobey. However, I use the term forced here because of the possible incarceration (vis-a-vie contempt of court, due process) or by the fining of over $135,000 (could be more to date) in which that deprives property (Fourth Amendment), forced group therapy for cake baker employees for discrimination (is forcing a compelled belief system) a First Amendment violation, and ordered to submit to random searches of cake baker's business records to make sure he is in compliance to past unlawful court orders (without a warrant) is also a Fourth Amendment violation.

The above are many reasons I hope SCOTUS finds in favor of the cake baker.

Listen to right wing radio much?

CFR that Masterpiece Cakeshop was forced to write anything on the wedding cake.

CFR that Masterpiece Cakeshop was fined $135.000

CFR that Masterpiece Cakeshop were forced to open their books up to the federal government without a warrant.

 

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The bakers should simply put a standardized message on all wedding cakes something to the effect of "Marriage is between man and woman only"  and it is sold on all wedding cakes without exception.  So if a gay couple wanted to use the bakery as their provider, they would have to accept that message on the cake. 

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

As a Mormon, I would find such a thing annoying -- perhaps even bigoted -- but I wouldn't make a court case out of it.

 

3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

This is the aspect of the case that has bothered me most from the get-go. That the state can force people to undergo "training" against their values and religious beliefs. It smacks too much of totalitarian regimes that force people to undergo reprogramming to make them more compliant. I find the whole idea very worrisome. I hope the court slaps down the Colorado state government on this, if nothing else.

All these issues have now been argued before the Supreme Court, and we will have to wait for their decision.  Which way that decision goes is not as important as that we will then understand the basic rules (for the nonce).  It matters little whether you and I agree in the midst of a hyperpartisan atmosphere, but those who wish to litigate this must be given their day in court.

Moreover, this has nothing to do with personal beliefs, but rather with public accommodations.  Everyone is entitled to believe and worship as he wishes.  He is not entitled to bring those beliefs into the marketplace the way White Southern racists used to do by refusing to allow Black people to be served in restaurants and other businesses alongside White folk.  We'll see whether the Supreme Court agrees with that.  Currently, there seems to be a notion that race is completely different from gender preference.  I don't agree, but that is what we have a Supreme Court for -- to decide the hard issues.

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22 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

The bakers should simply put a standardized message on all wedding cakes something to the effect of "Marriage is between man and woman only"  and it is sold on all wedding cakes without exception.  So if a gay couple wanted to use the bakery as their provider, they would have to accept that message on the cake. 

Reminds me of "The U.S. surgeon general has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health" ordered to be printed on all tobacco packaging and advertisements since the 1960s.

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36 minutes ago, california boy said:

Listen to right wing radio much?

CFR that Masterpiece Cakeshop was forced to write anything on the wedding cake.

As I understand it,  Mr. Phillips was asked to make a themed cake for a gay wedding, he declined, he was sued, and his case is now before the Supreme Court.

The gay couple repeatedly assert in their brief that they "Phillips did not ask for, and Mullins and Craig did not offer, any details about the design of the cake."  However, contemporary news accounts seem to differ with that.  See here.

Nevertheless, the findings of the fact in the original administrative court case appear to favor the gay couple's factual claim.

Weird.

Thanks,

-Smac

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