Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: LGBT Advocates Seek to Abandon a Vital Constitutional Right

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Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips cracks eggs into a cake batter mixer in 2014 inside his store in Lakewood, Colorado. U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear arguments December 5th on whether a baker who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds can refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In 2012, two men asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop (a bakery in Colorado), to create a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex marriage. Phillips told the couple that he would gladly sell them any of the premade baked items in his store or create a cake for them for another occasion, but he was unable to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage. The couple left the store and, shortly thereafter, filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

In 2014, the Commission determined that Phillips’s artistic freedom didn’t extend to a choice not to celebrate same-sex marriage (a strange and remarkable decision given the Commission’s subsequent deference toward cake artists who declined to create cakes expressing disapproval of same-sex marriage). The Commission ordered Phillips to celebrate same-sex marriages through his artistic designs to the same extent he celebrates any other marriage. This order forced Phillips out of the wedding industry, which has cost him about forty percent of his business and left him struggling to keep his family business afloat.

The Commission also instructed him to teach his staff, which includes his family members, that he was wrong to operate his business consistently with his religious beliefs. Finally, it directed Phillips to file quarterly reports with the government for two years, explaining to state officials when and why he declined any commissioned order. In other words, Phillips was ordered to provide a defense every time he exercised his First Amendment right to be free from compelled expression. The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the commission’s ruling in 2015.

Phillips is going to the Supreme Court to vindicate not only his own First Amendment rights, but also the freedom of other artists to decline to celebrate events or express ideas that they do not support. Thus, freedom for Phillips is freedom for all artists.

As the December 5th oral argument date for his case grows near, the drumbeat proclaiming Jack Phillips must be forced to create a same-sex wedding cake against his conscience grows louder.

The most important consideration in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, we are told, is eliminating discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Finally, the state and its defenders claim, the emotional harm felt by prospective customers upon hearing someone disagrees with their actions for religious reasons cannot be tolerated either.

Yet none of what we are being told here is true. First, no “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” has occurred in this case at all.

Phillips is not opposed to serving people who identify as homosexual; he simply objects to the celebration for which he is asked to create a cake — the same-sex wedding.

This becomes even clearer when we understand that Phillips will not create a wedding cake for two men even if they claim a heterosexual orientation, but will create a cake for a wedding between a man and a woman despite them identifying as homosexual.

Thus, Phillips is not acting based on the sexual orientation of his prospective customers; he’s only opposed to what they are celebrating, and asking to not be forced to be a part of it.

The cost of protecting this freedom is minimal, only entailing some offense on the part of the prospective customers, who will now have to go elsewhere to find a cake, most couples inquire with multiple shops anyway, for their wedding ceremony.

The two men who initiated the legal case against Phillips could have visited any one of sixty seven other bakeries in the Denver area willing to create their cake, including one only a tenth of a mile from the Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Instead, they filed complaints against Phillips with the state, which followed up by suing him. But in light of all these providers happy to create the cake, is it really necessary to force Jack Phillips to be the one to do so?

The would-be customers, after getting over their offense at Phillips’s beliefs, could have traveled 500 feet down the street to obtain their cake from someone happy to provide it.

Instead, they want to force Jack Phillips to create it, meanwhile, they had already obtained one free of charge from another bakery by the time they filed charges against Phillips.

Unfortunately, this coercion comes with the heavy price of forcing Phillips to violate his conscience or shutting down wedding cake operations and possibly going out of business.

At a recent practice oral argument, the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that this case is about “full and equal participation in civic life,” and if Phillips wants to say “God blesses this union” for any wedding, he must be forced to say it for all weddings.

Yet if those who want the government to punish Masterpiece Cakeshop get their way, Phillips and many like him around the country will themselves be excluded from full and equal participation in civic life.

Allowing religious business owners to continue to operate their businesses according to their deeply held religious beliefs will not push those identifying as homosexual out of society. However, forcing business owners to violate their beliefs could force many religious individuals out of the marketplace.

The Supreme Court should keep this in mind as it decides this case in the upcoming months.

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Supreme Court Screws North Carolina On Voter ID Law

Well, I guess having Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court means exactly nothing for the state of North Carolina, or any state that believes voter ID should be a requirement to avoid voter fraud.

In 2013, when Governor Pat McCrory took over Raleigh and began undoing all the foul damage two decades of Democrat governors had done to the state, one of his most excellent moves was to sign legislation that put commonsense voter ID laws into effect in the state.

The usual liberal players, who seem to benefit most where there are no protections against voter fraud, pulled their usual tricks out of their filthy liberal pockets and screamed: RACISM!

Because according the the Democrats, everybody knows minorities are weak, dumb, and need white liberal Democrats to hold their hands and tell them how to get by.

Sadly, minorities apparently agree with them, because they keep voting for them and their failed policies, as if one more really bad piece of legislation is going to turn everything around.

Weeks before the 2016 election, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a bench of rancid liberal activists, overturned North Carolina’s voter ID law, saying it targeted black voters disproportionately.

So what did the voter ID law require that was so awful?

The law required voters to present an approved form of photo identification before casting a valid ballot; reduced the early voting period from 17 to 10 days; eliminated out-of-precinct voting; eliminated same-day registration and voting; and eliminated preregistration by 16-year-olds.

Maybe it’s my “white privilege” showing, but how, exactly, does this target black voters? How is any of this a detriment, especially when all voters, regardless of race, had to adhere to it?

It’s not.

The real racists are the ones who think that only white people are capable of obtaining an ID.

The state took the case to the Supreme Court, seeking to have the lower court’s ruling overturned, in order to reinstate voter ID in the Tar Heel state, but today, the Supreme Court ruled that minorities in North Carolina are too dumb to figure out how to get ID, or at least, too dumb to figure out how to pull it out of their pockets and show it at a voting station.

In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the court’s refusal to hear the case isn’t a judgment on its merits.

“Given the blizzard of filings over who is and who is not authorized to seek review in this Court under North Carolina law, it is important to recall our frequent admonition that ‘the denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case,’” he said.

So SCOTUS just doesn’t want to be bothered with it and North Carolina, that saw a rash of voter fraud and misconduct in the 2016 election, is stuck with a bad system, a corrupt governor, and little recourse to bring integrity back to our system of voting.

And yes, the ACLU and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (Just drips with annoying, liberal angst, doesn’t it?) are doing a victory lap on the ashes of ACTUAL justice and fair elections in the state.

“This law, enacted with what the appeals court called discriminatory intent and ‘almost surgical precision’ targeting African-American voters, is meeting its much-deserved demise. An ugly chapter in voter suppression is finally closing.”- Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project

That’s liberal code for: Voter fraud is now the law of the land in the Tar Heel State – Democrats rejoice!

A Civil War in Congress

It is really all about hating President Trump, not partisan politics. There’s no doubt that Judge Neil Gorsuch is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court and he will. The confirmation is set for Friday. Republicans in the Senate must prevail on the judge or the entire party and the president will be gravely damaged. That’s exactly what the Democratic Party wants. 

The strategy is simple: oppose every change the president wants to make and everything he wants to do. Democrats create as much mayhem as possible, then tell Americans that President Trump doesn’t know how to govern. Meanwhile, Americans get hammered because worthy persons like Judge Gorsuch are disparaged and innovative policies are sabotaged. 
At the Gorsuch hearings, the Democrats tried to trap the judge into saying something controversial and paint him unworthy of the SCOTUS job. Fair minded folks respect sincerely held political differences. I know I do. But political hit jobs are obvious. The Gorsuch hearings featured “gotcha” questions designed to demean.

We now have an opposition agenda primarily based on hatred, not what’s best for the country. The rhetoric on the left is vitriolic in the extreme.

Trump-haters justify their behavior by saying he’s destroying the US. The issues of illegal immigration, global warming, and national security have created fury on the left. As I’ve said before, moderate Democrats are under pressure to support the hate-Trump strategy.

Many Republicans opposed President Obama’s agenda. There was very little common ground there. But five GOP senators voted to confirm the very liberal Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Obama got trade authority, and debt limits were raised. The system was strained under President Obama, but it functioned. Now, political hatred is directly threatening our Republic.

We the people will pay a huge price if things don’t change.

The Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch

Many Americans voted for Donald Trump because they feared that a Democratic president would appoint another liberal judge to the Supreme Court. In recent times, the court has often ruled on politics, not the law. Mr. Trump nominated forty-nine year old Neil Gorsuch from Colorado. Gorsuch has a very solid judicial record and serves on the tenth US district of appeals in Denver. Yesterday there were hearings in the Senate to approve Judge Gorsuch to the highest court in the country. Predictably, some liberal politicians do not like the judge simply because he is not a liberal. Even though his record is stellar and his philosophy independent, some Democratic senators will not vote for him. 

Some senators (like Democratic Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein) at the hearing voiced their opinions in support of loose interpretation of the Constitution and also that the Constitution is a living document intended to evolve as our country evolves. Those Democrats should know better. If judges are free to rule on judicial evolution, that means that they become politicians. All judges in America should just have one rule: what was the intent of the original Constitution? If they reject that, then they make decisions based upon their own political beliefs. Then what do we have? Just another extension of Congress, not a Supreme Court.

There’s no question that the Constitution gives the president power to stop some foreign nationals from coming into the US. But activist judges have blocked President Trump’s travel order, saying in essence it’s anti-Muslim. If that were the case, many more Muslim countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other countries) would be included in the president’s order, but they are not. So everybody (every fair minded person) knows that politics, not the law, are involved here and eventually the president will win in federal court. The activist judges don’t care. They have temporarily blocked the order and are liberal heroes. Judge Gorsuch looks like a traditionalist man who believes the intent of the Constitution should reign. Again, the seems to be unacceptable to the Democratic senators. They want a political judge. They want a liberal judge.

The best example of Constitutional debate is the Second Amendment: the right “to keep and bear arms.” It is clear that the Founding Fathers wanted Americans to have the ability to protect themselves. Back then, militias were the mechanism, private citizens with guns organizing against threats. Today, the threats are more personal, terrorists and criminals, not frontier marauders. Americans have a Constitutional right to defend themselves against those who would harm them. That’s why firearms cannot be banned, but they can be limited. Some limits are reasonable and individual states have the right to mandate gun laws based on the will of their people. The left rejects that and in some cases wants to ban guns outright. Things could change dramatically if the Supreme Court becomes solely a political party dominated by the left. 

Intent, not evolution, should be the litmus test for Constitutional law. That’s why a traditional judge, like Neil Gorsuch, is vital in this situation. He will likely sit for decades, presiding over a country in the middle of a social civil war.