Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission blatantly defied the U.S. Supreme Court to ramp up their biased vendetta against Jack Phillips even further. This time, over a “gender transition cake.” The Christian baker won his “Masterpiece Cakeshop” battle over declining to bake a same-sex wedding cake.
The commissioners are already hammering him on the exact same issue. It seems as if they have targeted him for destruction, regardless of the law. So, Phillips was forced to file his own federal suit on Tuesday because the commission refuses to acknowledge the final ruling and leave him alone.
“Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor,” the pleadings state. “This lawsuit is necessary to stop Colorado’s continuing persecution of Phillips.”
According the Supreme Court, “the Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case violated the State’s duty under the First Amendment,” their decision states, “not to base laws or regulations on hostility to a religion or religious viewpoint.”
“The government, consistent with the Constitution’s guarantee of free exercise, cannot impose regulations that are hostile to the religious beliefs of affected citizens and cannot act in a manner that passes judgment upon or presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs and practices.”
That clearly tells Colorado, they can’t force him to deny his faith. Not only that, any law or regulation they try to make restricting the free exercise of religion, in any way, is totally unconstitutional.
“For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips,” his attorney writes in the federal lawsuit filed on his behalf, “because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith.”
“Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him – something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”
“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” Kristen Waggoner declared.
She is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is described as “a religious liberty law firm” and is defending Mr. Phillips.
“The Supreme Court finally weighed in, and its decision forbids the state from bullying people whose faiths teach them that marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” insists Waggoner.
At the same time the Supreme Court agreed to hear the same-sex wedding case but long before it was decided, Autumn Scardina, a transgender individual with a law degree, contacted Phillips’ shop.
Scardina requested “a cake celebrating a sex transition.” Specifically, according to the civil rights complaint, “a blue exterior and a pink interior, a reflection of Scardina’s transgender identity.”
Phillips “declined to create the cake, given his religious conviction that sex is immutable, while offering to sell the caller other pre-made baked goods.”
Scardina complained to the commission, alleging discrimination on the basis of gender identity and it sat in limbo. “The matter was held in abeyance while the Supreme Court adjudicated the Masterpiece case.”
Three weeks after the court ruled in favor of Phillips, “the commission issued a probable cause determination, finding there was sufficient evidence to support Scardina’s claim of discrimination.”
Apparently they’re unable to read the clear language of the law’s highest authority.
The anti-religious bias of the commission was obvious to the Supreme Court justices. Based on the pleadings it was clear to them, “the record here demonstrates that the Commission’s consideration of Phillips’ case was neither tolerant nor respectful of his religious beliefs.”
The government should stay out of religious waters the court noted. “Government has no role in expressing or even suggesting whether the religious ground for Phillips’ conscience-based objection is legitimate or illegitimate.”
If they are going to take it into consideration, they need to be fair but the commission obviously wasn’t. “The inference here is thus that Phillips’ religious objection was not considered with the neutrality required by the Free Exercise Clause.”
“The State’s interest could have been weighed against Phillips’ sincere religious objections in a way consistent with the requisite religious neutrality that must be strictly observed.”
They went above and beyond with their religious discrimination, the court noted. “The official expressions of hostility to religion in some of the commissioners’ comments were inconsistent with that requirement.”
Phillips certainly wasn’t getting the same consideration as liberal bakers on the opposite side. The situation is a lot like some say the Department of Justice treated President Donald Trump. A lot of citizens are wondering who is watching the watchers?
“The Commission’s disparate consideration of Phillips’ case compared to the cases of the other bakers suggests the same,” SCOTUS ruled.
“The commission ruled against Phillips in part on the theory that any message on the requested wedding cake would be attributed to the customer, not the baker. Yet the Division did not address this point in any of the cases involving requests for cakes depicting anti-gay marriage symbolism.”
The double standard continued. “The Division also considered that each bakery was willing to sell other products to the prospective customers but the Commission found Phillips’ willingness to do the same irrelevant.” Colorado wants to have their cake and eat it too.
Phillips has asked the court for “an injunction barring further prosecutions of Phillips for violations of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, a declaration that the Commission violated his constitutional rights, and damages from the director of the commission.”
Aubrey Elenis is named in the complaint both in her professional and personal capacity, “meaning she is personally liable for any financial judgment the court might award.”
Phillips is claiming damages for lost work time, lost profits, emotional distress, and reputational harm. He’s also asking for “an additional $100,000 punitive judgment against her.”