Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Civil Rights Commission

Supreme Court hears long-awaited arguments in First Amendment case

ARGUED: DEC. 5
CASE TYPE: FIRST AMENDMENT

Arguing for Petitioner: Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom
Arguing for State Respondent: Frederick Yarger, Colorado Solicitor General
Arguing for Private Respondents: David Cole, American Civil Liberties Union
Other Appearances: Gen. Noel Francisco, Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, as amicus curiae supporting petitioners
This case turns on whether Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Statute by declining to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, on the basis of First Amendment protections for religious freedom and free speech.

POSSIBLE ISSUES FOR COURT TO DECIDE:
• Is Phillips’ work as a cake maker speech?
• Does requiring him to make a cake for Craig and Mullins equate to compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment?
• Where is the line drawn between what expressive conduct is speech and what is not?
• Is Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act neutral and generally applicable? Was it applied unfairly to Phillips?

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the December 11, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.