Monday, June 26, 2017

An historic day is marred

Masterpiece Cakeshop
Monday the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Court will determine if Jack Philips (who calls himself a “cake artist”) had the right to defy Colorado's nondiscrimination law and refuse to provide a wedding cake to a same-sex couple on religious grounds.

At the same time the Court granted Foundation for Moral law the right to file an amicus brief. Hundreds will surely follow by the same people who weighed in on Obergefell v. Hodges — and then some. Foundation for Moral Law in Alabama was founded by disgraced former-justice Roy Moore and is run by his wife, Karla.

Masterpiece has potentially far-reaching consequences. Another case, Employment Division v. Smith has been the precedent since 1990. Scalia wrote the opinion in that case which held that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws. Masterpiece has the potential to invalidate every nondiscrimination law in the country. Keep in mind that the Klan is a Christian organization. Moreover, many people have moral objections to interracial marriage.

Alliance Defending Freedom, Masterpiece's lawyers, also represent Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington florist who refused to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding. ADF is likely to file that and other cases which will likely be consolidated into the baker's case. Meanwhile “states rights” GOPers will be on a crusade to prevent the states of Washington and Colorado from enforcing clearly neutral nondiscrimination laws.

An Arkansas case (Pavan v. Smith) was also decided today and is relevant. It held that Arkansas must list gay couples on birth certificates where applicable. Dissenters were Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas (Clarence Thomas is the most predictable justice to ever sit on the Supreme Court). That means that Chief Justice Roberts was in the majority. The decision reads, in part:
The State uses those certificates to give married parents a form of legal recognition that is not available to unmarried parents. Having made that choice, Arkansas may not, consistent with Obergefell, deny married same-sex couples that recognition.
The weight of Obergefell should prevail in Masterpiece with, perhaps, the same level of support among the justices of the Court. Meanwhile, Brian S. Brown and the imbeciles at National Organization for Marriage will (today, I think) start raising money off of the Court's agreeing to hear the baker's case. I know — They will be filing a “strong” amicus brief and that takes money.
  • June 26, 2003: Lawrence v. Texas
  • June 26, 2013: United States v. Windsor
  • June 26, 2015: Obergefell v. Hodges
  • June 26, 2018: ?

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