‘It’s A Basic Argument’: Colorado Baker’s Lawyer Reaffirms Plan To Appeal Court Ruling

Political News
  • Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ lawyer reaffirmed plans to appeal a Tuesday district court ruling which said he had violated the state’s anti-discrimination law for declining to create a custom cake celebrating a gender transition.
  • “Our plan is the same as it’s been before … it’s a basic argument,” Scruggs told the DCNF. “Jack serves all people. He doesn’t convey all messages.”
  • The ADF has represented Phillips since 2012, when he was first sued by the Colorado Civil Right Commission for declining a request to make a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding due to his religious beliefs.

Colorado baker Jack Phillips’ lawyer reaffirmed plans to appeal a Tuesday district court ruling which said he had violated the state’s anti-discrimination law for declining to create a custom cake celebrating a gender transition.

Jonathan Scruggs, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Phillips’ case, reaffirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation their plans to appeal the decision in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop that Phillips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).

“Our plan is the same as it’s been before … it’s a basic argument,” Scruggs told the DCNF. “Jack serves all people. He doesn’t convey all messages.”

The ADF has represented Phillips since 2012, when he was first sued by the Colorado Civil Right Commission for declining a request to make a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding due to his religious beliefs.

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In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, upholding his first-amendment rights.

“Only after Mrs. Phillips stated that the bakery could make the requested item did Ms. Scardina then share that she had chosen those colors to reflect and celebrate her transition from a male to a female,” according to court documents. The bakery’s “custom cakes might not communicate any particular message unless the purchaser discloses to them what the item is intended to convey.”

Scruggs said the First Amendment protects Phillips in the same way it protects speakers all over the country, which courts have upheld.

“Our message is pretty simple, that first, speakers have the right to promote what messages they want to promote and second, these laws shouldn’t be used like an arm of cancel culture to single out and target and punish particular people just because of the views they hold.” Scruggs said. “In the same way, you can’t force an LGBT web designer to create artwork criticizing same sex marriage… It is this basic principle under the first amendment that courts have recognized again and again, speakers get to control what they say, the government doesn’t.”

“In our pluralistic society, we’ve got to learn to disagree with each other and not just sue each other,” Scruggs told the DCNF. “This is a better solution that we can learn to live and be tolerant of each other and have a diversity of opinion and diversity of thought.”

Tolerance is a two way street and “When you have someone who goes out of their way to request a cake, they know Jack won’t make, solely to bring a lawsuit and to punish him for his beliefs, that is by definition, I think, the weaponization of our justice system,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs said there is a global trend of people getting targeted for their beliefs, but that individuals are fighting back and winning these lawsuits, which makes them confident going forward on the appeal.

“I think the ultimate end is going to be when the U.S. Supreme Court, whether in Jack’s case or another case, clarifies once and for all that you can enter into the marketplace and operate your business consistent with your religion,” said Scruggs.

Autumn Scardina didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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