Author Topic: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven  (Read 20257 times)

MaddogLutheran

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #135 on: December 17, 2017, 10:40:03 PM »
Mr. Gale's initial assertion about religious liberty, which lacked any acknowledgment of the significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country, was inaccurate. 

Just as he had rightly corrected my earlier post that should not have contained the word "altogether" in that one sentence, so I attempted to correct his misleading statement about religious liberty.
Pr. Tibbetts asked a useful question about your first sentence, the answer to which I'm interested in hearing you answer.

However, there's a problem with your statement...it's not true. He never mislead, but I think you have misread him in your zeal to prove him (and the rest of us) wrong.  I searched back through Mr. Gale's recent posts, to be sure I wasn't missing something.   Here's the earliest post I could find by him that possibly fits your description above:

The fact that you "do not think the baker's anti-gay position is theologically defensible" is irrelevant.  You would turn the Free Exercise Clause into "freedom of religion for me but not for thee."  That's not how it works.  Each person is entitled to practice his or her own religion, and is not limited to religious practices deemed "defensible" by anyone else.

In no way is that a declaration that religious rights are unlimited.  Telling you that the First Amendment prohibits government from making any judgments about a person's conformity to his religion's theology (you should research the case law on that) is not the same thing as saying there are no restrictions on religious rights.  Two days later he specifically addresses your representation and proves it false:

First, I am a lawyer.  I know the law and I know how the process works.  I am well aware that the Court could rule either way in this case.  The rights recognized in the Establishment Clause do indeed have limits. I never said otherwise and would not have done so.

Why did I find your suggesting that he more closely read the case law objectionable?  Because only one of you is a lawyer.  He was making a subtle point about the law which you as a non-lawyer failed to grasp.  It may not have been obvious to you from the first interaction, but it was to me, that Mr. Gale was familiar with the case law.  He doesn't need me to defend him.  But since you said I was wrong too, I'm just setting the record straight.

At any rate, this case is as much about freedom of expression (government compelled speech) as it is about the free exercise clause, though the two are certainly linked.

The only constitutional right that is essentially unlimited is that most fundamental, basic one enshrined since the founding of the republic:  abortion.  It's why I am not permitted to be involved in my daughter's health care now that she is older than 14.  Even though I am financially responsible since she is a dependent on my health insurance, she needs to be able to have an abortion without my knowledge or consent.  And no law short of a constitutional amendment can change that.  Super duper precedent and penumbras, I'm told.

Sterling Spatz

« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 11:07:18 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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R. T. Fouts

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #136 on: December 18, 2017, 12:16:47 AM »
I take a libertarian approach to this issue, no it has nothing to do with my views against same sex marriage.  If a racist baker refuses to bake for blacks... I say let him. He is declining Capitol, rejecting customers, and will be judged by the free market when people boycott his business.  He will reap what he does regardless.   Still, it is important that we allow business people to produce the products they wish to produce.
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David Garner

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #137 on: December 18, 2017, 12:04:54 PM »
Douthat, as ever, is on point.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/opinion/masterpiece-cakeshop-supreme-court.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2FRoss%20Douthat&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=Collection&region=Marginalia&src=me&version=column&pgtype=article

"We need a liberalism that doesn’t just rely on demographic replacement to win elections and a conservatism that doesn’t just rely on fears of that replacement to hold its own. And we need a way to make the new shape of religion in America, in which a Christian core looks resilient, the lukewarm are secularizing and non-Christian faiths expand apace, feel less threatening to everybody — so that conservatives stop panicking about Shariah law every time a mosque goes up nearby, and the left stops preening about social justice while dragging nuns and florists into court."
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Mbecker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #138 on: December 18, 2017, 05:16:55 PM »
David,

Please read the Complainants' response in opposition to Respondents' cross motion for summary judgment:
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/craig-and-mullins-v-masterpiece-cakeshop-complainants-response-opposition-respondents

According to this court document, "once Mullins and Craig explained that they wanted to purchase a cake for 'our wedding,' Phillips informed them that he was not willing to produce a wedding cake for their family. In other words, all Philips needed to know to make his decision to deny Complainants service was that Complainants were two men planning to marry each other. Respondent Philips has also admitted that it is the policy of Masterpiece Cakeshop to categorically refuse to sell wedding cakes for same-sex couples." The baker has also admitted that he would not sell a cake to a heterosexual couple if it was intended for use at a gay wedding.

According to the document, INITIAL DECISION GRANTING COMPLAINANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING RESPONDENTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, the "Complainants sat  down  with  Phillips  at  the  cake  consulting  table. They introduced themselves as 'David' and 'Charlie' and said that they wanted a wedding cake for 'our wedding.' 6.Phillips informed Complainants that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings.  Phillips told the men, 'I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.' 7.Complainants   immediately   got   up   and   left   the   store   without   further discussion with Philips. 8.The  whole  conversation  between  Phillips  and  Complainants  was  very brief, with no discussion between the parties about what the cake would look like."

Cf. the summary of the facts of the case in the complainants' opposition to the respondents' appeal:
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/craig-and-mullins-v-masterpiece-cakeshop-complainants-opposition-respondents-appeal

The documents that I have read are found at:
https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/craig-v-masterpiece-opinion

My statement above, to which you took exception, is correct, according to court documents.

Matt Becker

So you take the position of one side (the complainants and the ACLU), along with the initial decision granting summary judgment, and from that alone, you determine there is "no evidence?"

LOL, okay.

I cited for you the oral argument.  If your position is that there is "no evidence," and a practicing attorney lied to the Supreme Court, then I guess you won't be convinced of much else.  Because that is a simply fantastic claim.

David,

Please review the record of the oral argument: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2017/16-111_f314.pdf

Even Justice Sotomayer drew attention to the discrepancy between what is clearly stated in the briefs and what was asserted in oral argument by Ms. Waggoner before the court. "JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: But I thought -­ I'm a little bit surprised by what you're saying because your briefs seem to suggest differently...."

A little later in that same transcript of the oral arguments, the attorney for Craig and Mullins disputed Ms. Waggoner's assertion:  "JUSTICE KAGAN: Do we have to answer that question, Mr. Cole? 
MR. COLE: No, you don't, no, Justice Kagan, you don't, because in this case, again, the only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay. And, as a result, he refused to sell them any wedding cake. There was no request for a design. There was no request for a message. He refused to sell them any wedding cake. And that's identity-based discrimination. It is not a decision to refuse to put particular words on it."

Who are you going to believe, David? All of the written briefs and Mr. Cole's assertion in oral argument (which fits with what is reported in the briefs) OR Ms. Waggoner's lone assertion in oral argument (that contradicts what is stated in the briefs)?

According to the court documents I shared with you upstream, at no point did the baker, according to his own testimony, discuss any specifics about the wedding cake in question. As soon as he  learned that the customers wanted to purchase a cake for their wedding celebration, he told them that he would not do so. Immediately the couple and the mother of one of the gentlemen left the bakery. Perhaps the couple brought in a folder of wedding cake designs (I never saw any reference to such a folder in the court briefs and Cole's oral argument flatly contradicts Ms. Waggoner's assertion), but according to the baker's own testimony, they never discussed any particulars about the cake in question. If there was such a discussion, it was not referenced in the briefs, a fairly significant omission, I would think. "Phillips informed Complainants that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings.  Phillips told the men, 'I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.' 7.Complainants   immediately   got   up   and   left   the   store   without   further discussion with Philips. 8.The  whole  conversation  between  Phillips  and  Complainants  was  very brief, with no discussion between the parties about what the cake would look like."

LOL, okay. I cited for you the oral argument. I also cited the pertinent briefs. Justice Sotomayor had a reason to be surprised by Ms. Waggoner's assertion. Either Ms. Waggoner is representing what happened or Mr. Cole is. They both can't be correct. One of those attorneys is misrepresenting what happened. The briefs seem to support Mr. Cole's assertion, not that of Ms. Waggoner.

Matt Becker
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 05:55:51 PM by Mbecker »

Mbecker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #139 on: December 18, 2017, 05:18:36 PM »
Mr. Gale's initial assertion about religious liberty, which lacked any acknowledgment of the significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country, was inaccurate. 


What are "the significant restrictions"?

I listed some of the pertinent cases in my initial response to Mr. Gale's post that accused me of misrepresenting the facts in this case. If you want to read more about those restrictions, you could read the book I recommended in that post.

Matt Becker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #140 on: December 18, 2017, 05:54:07 PM »
Each person is entitled to practice his or her own religion, and is not limited to religious practices deemed "defensible" by anyone else.

The rights recognized in the Establishment Clause do indeed have limits.

What about the Free Exercise Clause? Are there no limits here, too? Or is the right to practice one's religion (or to engage in a practice based on one's religious belief) absolute and unconditional and beyond the reach of the law?

My principal criticism is with Mr. Gale's first assertion above. He has yet to acknowledge that the right to the free exercise of religion, as acknowledged in the Free Exercise Clause, has limits. That right is not absolute. According to rulings by the Supreme Court, many individuals who have appealed to their religion to justify certain practices and behaviors ("to practice his or her own religion") have been told that their religious practice is unconstitutional, that they cannot legally practice their religion or engage in certain behaviors that they claim are grounded in their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has ruled that some "religious practices" (or "practices based on religious belief") are indeed indefensible under the US Constitution. That's the only point I've been trying to make with Mr. Gale.

Matt Becker

David Garner

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #141 on: December 18, 2017, 06:00:07 PM »
David,

Please review the record of the oral argument: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2017/16-111_f314.pdf

Even Justice Sotomayer drew attention to the discrepancy between what is clearly stated in the briefs and what was asserted in oral argument by Ms. Waggoner before the court. "JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: But I thought -­ I'm a little bit surprised by what you're saying because your briefs seem to suggest differently...."

A little later in that same transcript of the oral arguments, the attorney for Craig and Mullins disputed Ms. Waggoner's assertion:  "JUSTICE KAGAN: Do we have to answer that question, Mr. Cole? 
MR. COLE: No, you don't, no, Justice Kagan, you don't, because in this case, again, the only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay. And, as a result, he refused to sell them any wedding cake. There was no request for a design. There was no request for a message. He refused to sell them any wedding cake. And that's identity-based discrimination. It is not a decision to refuse to put particular words on it."

Who are you going to believe, David? All of the written briefs and Mr. Cole's assertion in oral argument (which fit with what is reported in the briefs) OR Ms. Waggoner's lone assertion in oral argument (that contradicts what is stated in the briefs)?

According to the court documents I shared with you upstream, at no point did the baker, according to his own testimony, discuss any specifics about the wedding cake in question. As soon as he  learned that the customers wanted to purchase a cake for their wedding celebration, he told them that he would not do so. Immediately the couple and the mother of one of the gentlemen left the bakery. Perhaps the couple brought in a folder of wedding cake designs (I never saw any reference to such a folder in the court briefs and Cole's oral argument flatly contradicts Ms. Waggoner's assertion), but according to the baker's own testimony, they never discussed any particulars about the cake in question. If there was such a discussion, it was not referenced in the briefs, a fairly significant omission, I would think. "Phillips informed Complainants that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings.  Phillips told the men, 'I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.' 7.Complainants   immediately   got   up   and   left   the   store   without   further discussion with Philips. 8.The  whole  conversation  between  Phillips  and  Complainants  was  very brief, with no discussion between the parties about what the cake would look like."

LOL, okay. I cited for you the oral argument. I also cited the pertinent briefs. Justice Sotomayor had a reason to be surprised by Ms. Waggoner's assertion. Either Ms. Waggoner is representing what happened or Mr. Cole is. They both can't be correct. One of those attorneys is misrepresenting what happened. The briefs seem to support Mr. Cole's assertion, not that of Ms. Waggoner.

Matt Becker

Dr. Becker, I have read the oral argument in its entirety.  You are cherry picking the briefs from one side and declaring "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE" as if repeating the assertion proves it.  You keep saying this is "according to his own testimony," but you cite only the briefs of the complainants and the summary of facts cited by the complainants.  That is, you cite to one side to supposedly show what the other side claims.  Telling me you haven't seen something "in the court briefs" when you are only apparently paying attention to one side's briefs is like me telling you China doesn't exist simply because I haven't been there.

But you're a smart guy.  You can figure out why that's a problem.

Still, even smart guys can miss stuff, so let me fill in some blanks for you.  First, should you desire to read the other side's version of events, you'll note that the complainants were browsing a book of custom cake designs Phillips had made.  So even apart from the oral argument, which notes the facts presented at the ALJ and lower appellate court levels (though perhaps not those stipulated to for purpose of appeal), we aren't talking about a situation where they just wanted to buy a cake off the shelf.  They wanted a custom design.  Second, they actually bought a rainbow design wedding cake for their actual wedding.

Let me repeat that -- they actually bought a rainbow designed wedding cake at their actual wedding.  The thing the attorney for petitioners said they were requesting is exactly the thing they ended up actually buying for their actual wedding.  A rainbow colored cake.

You can read about that here (pp. 12-13):

https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/16/16-111/21265/20171122130523511_Petitioners%20Reply%20Brief.pdf

"The Commission also confirms CADA’s underinclusiveness by arguing that cake artists may decline any “pro-gay” message, Comm’n 35, any “offensive” message, id. at 52, and even the rainbow- design wedding cake that Craig and Mullins had at
their marriage celebration, id. at 25."

You can read more about it here (p. 10):

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/16-111-ts.pdf

"After Craig and Mullins posted online that Phillips declined their wedding-cake request, people picketed and boycotted Masterpiece. Another local cake artist offered to design a free wedding cake for Craig and Mullins, an offer they accepted. JA184-85. Craig and Mullins then married in Massachusetts (because same-sex marriage was not licensed in Colorado at the time), and they had a multi-tiered, rainbow-layered wedding cake at their reception in Colorado. JA175-76. Following wedding customs, they cut the cake together and fed it to each other in celebration of their union. Id."

Now, you can tell me that Craig and Mullins never in a million years would have asked Phillips to make the cake they actually purchased and used at their wedding.  Or you can stay over at the ACLU's website and read the briefs of one side and tell me that didn't even happen, which I suppose is your prerogative too.  But it's all right there if you simply want to read enough to discover it. 

Either way, the facts are vastly more complicated than you present them to be, as is the law. 
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

David Garner

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #142 on: December 18, 2017, 06:00:42 PM »
Also, please stop pompously asking people to read things, as if we've never read them.  It's rude.
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David Garner

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #143 on: December 18, 2017, 06:17:39 PM »
What about the Free Exercise Clause? Are there no limits here, too? Or is the right to practice one's religion (or to engage in a practice based on one's religious belief) absolute and unconditional and beyond the reach of the law?

My principal criticism is with Mr. Gale's first assertion above. He has yet to acknowledge that the right to the free exercise of religion, as acknowledged in the Free Exercise Clause, has limits. That right is not absolute. According to rulings by the Supreme Court, many individuals who have appealed to their religion to justify certain practices and behaviors ("to practice his or her own religion") have been told that their religious practice is unconstitutional, that they cannot legally practice their religion or engage in certain behaviors that they claim are grounded in their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has ruled that some "religious practices" (or "practices based on religious belief") are indeed indefensible under the US Constitution. That's the only point I've been trying to make with Mr. Gale.

Matt Becker

Mr. Gale is an attorney.  He has a law degree.  Trust me when I tell you that in order to earn that law degree he had to pass at least one Constitutional Law course. 

You are simply trolling here.  There is no nicer way to put it.
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James_Gale

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #144 on: December 18, 2017, 06:27:51 PM »
Each person is entitled to practice his or her own religion, and is not limited to religious practices deemed "defensible" by anyone else.

The rights recognized in the Establishment Clause do indeed have limits.

What about the Free Exercise Clause? Are there no limits here, too? Or is the right to practice one's religion (or to engage in a practice based on one's religious belief) absolute and unconditional and beyond the reach of the law?

My principal criticism is with Mr. Gale's first assertion above. He has yet to acknowledge that the right to the free exercise of religion, as acknowledged in the Free Exercise Clause, has limits. That right is not absolute. According to rulings by the Supreme Court, many individuals who have appealed to their religion to justify certain practices and behaviors ("to practice his or her own religion") have been told that their religious practice is unconstitutional, that they cannot legally practice their religion or engage in certain behaviors that they claim are grounded in their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court has ruled that some "religious practices" (or "practices based on religious belief") are indeed indefensible under the US Constitution. That's the only point I've been trying to make with Mr. Gale.

Matt Becker


I did not say that the Free Exercise Clause is without limits.  I would not say such a thing.  It's not true.  No right recognized by the Constitution is without limits.


I was replying to a post in which you based your opinion regarding this case in part on your belief that the baker's conduct is not "theologically defensible."  My point was that your theological opinion is not relevant.  Each person is entitled to practice his or her religion and is not limited to practicing a religion that you or anyone else believes to be theologically defensible.

Mbecker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #145 on: December 19, 2017, 01:03:53 AM »
David,

Please review the record of the oral argument: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2017/16-111_f314.pdf

Even Justice Sotomayer drew attention to the discrepancy between what is clearly stated in the briefs and what was asserted in oral argument by Ms. Waggoner before the court. "JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: But I thought -­ I'm a little bit surprised by what you're saying because your briefs seem to suggest differently...."

A little later in that same transcript of the oral arguments, the attorney for Craig and Mullins disputed Ms. Waggoner's assertion:  "JUSTICE KAGAN: Do we have to answer that question, Mr. Cole? 
MR. COLE: No, you don't, no, Justice Kagan, you don't, because in this case, again, the only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay. And, as a result, he refused to sell them any wedding cake. There was no request for a design. There was no request for a message. He refused to sell them any wedding cake. And that's identity-based discrimination. It is not a decision to refuse to put particular words on it."

Who are you going to believe, David? All of the written briefs and Mr. Cole's assertion in oral argument (which fit with what is reported in the briefs) OR Ms. Waggoner's lone assertion in oral argument (that contradicts what is stated in the briefs)?

According to the court documents I shared with you upstream, at no point did the baker, according to his own testimony, discuss any specifics about the wedding cake in question. As soon as he  learned that the customers wanted to purchase a cake for their wedding celebration, he told them that he would not do so. Immediately the couple and the mother of one of the gentlemen left the bakery. Perhaps the couple brought in a folder of wedding cake designs (I never saw any reference to such a folder in the court briefs and Cole's oral argument flatly contradicts Ms. Waggoner's assertion), but according to the baker's own testimony, they never discussed any particulars about the cake in question. If there was such a discussion, it was not referenced in the briefs, a fairly significant omission, I would think. "Phillips informed Complainants that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings.  Phillips told the men, 'I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.' 7.Complainants   immediately   got   up   and   left   the   store   without   further discussion with Philips. 8.The  whole  conversation  between  Phillips  and  Complainants  was  very brief, with no discussion between the parties about what the cake would look like."

LOL, okay. I cited for you the oral argument. I also cited the pertinent briefs. Justice Sotomayor had a reason to be surprised by Ms. Waggoner's assertion. Either Ms. Waggoner is representing what happened or Mr. Cole is. They both can't be correct. One of those attorneys is misrepresenting what happened. The briefs seem to support Mr. Cole's assertion, not that of Ms. Waggoner.

Matt Becker

Dr. Becker, I have read the oral argument in its entirety.  You are cherry picking the briefs from one side and declaring "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE" as if repeating the assertion proves it.  You keep saying this is "according to his own testimony," but you cite only the briefs of the complainants and the summary of facts cited by the complainants.  That is, you cite to one side to supposedly show what the other side claims.  Telling me you haven't seen something "in the court briefs" when you are only apparently paying attention to one side's briefs is like me telling you China doesn't exist simply because I haven't been there.

David,
Who's doing the cherry picking here? The documents to which I referred include a section on "undisputed facts." Those are the facts that both sides accept as factually accurate.

According to the sworn testimony of the mother of Mr. Craig: "When we walked into the bakery, we were greeted by a man at the counter, and he was told that we were there to discuss a wedding reception cake. He said he could help us and motioned for us to have a seat in an area on the other side of the counter. We sat at a small table that was located on the opposite side of the store that we had walked in. My son, Charlie had a folder that had pictures of different designs they had decided to discuss, when the man was told “it is for our wedding,” the man said that he does not make wedding takes for commitment ceremonies, be does not make cakes for same sex couples. I just sat there for a minute, and I am sure I had a look of disbelief on my face. I looked toward my son, but didn’t say anything. After a few seconds, we realized that he was not going to serve us and we stood up to leave. As we left the bakery, I noticed the family who was in the store when we entered, got up and left as well."

According to the brief on behalf of the petitioner (the baker): "Craig and Mullins were browsing a photo album of Phillips’s custom-design work, JA39, 48, 89, when Phillips sat down with them at his consultation table, JA168. After Phillips greeted the two men, they explained that they wanted him to create a cake for their wedding. Id. Phillips politely explained that he does not design wedding cakes for same-sex marriages, but emphasized that he was happy to make other items for them. Id. Craig, Mullins, and Munn expressed their displeasure and left the shop. JA43, 168. Munn called Phillips the next day and asked why he declined their request. JA39-40. Phillips explained that it was because of his religious beliefs about marriage, and he also told her that Colorado did not recognize same-sex marriages. JA169. Over the years, Phillips has declined other requests to design custom wedding cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages, all the while affirming his willingness to create other cakes for LGBT customers. JA62-63, 169."

Where do either of these sworn witnesses state that there was any discussion about the design of the cake? Where does it say that the couple bought a rainbow-colored cake from the baker?

But you're a smart guy.  You can figure out why that's a problem.

Still, even smart guys can miss stuff, so let me fill in some blanks for you. 

How kind of you....

First, should you desire to read the other side's version of events, you'll note that the complainants were browsing a book of custom cake designs Phillips had made.

That is unclear in the record. One brief suggests that Craig had brought a folder of designs that he and Mullins wanted to discuss with Phillips. Phillips claims that they were looking at one of his folders. According to his mother, Mr. Craig "had a folder that had pictures of different designs [the couple] had decided to discuss."

So even apart from the oral argument, which notes the facts presented at the ALJ and lower appellate court levels (though perhaps not those stipulated to for purpose of appeal), we aren't talking about a situation where they just wanted to buy a cake off the shelf.  They wanted a custom design. 

That is true, the couple wanted a custom cake, but the baker said he wouldn't sell them any kind of wedding cake.

Second, they actually bought a rainbow design wedding cake for their actual wedding.

Let me repeat that -- they actually bought a rainbow designed wedding cake at their actual wedding.

This statement is incorrect for three different reasons. First, they didn't buy a rainbow cake. Someone else gave them a rainbow cake for free. Second, they didn't buy a rainbow cake or any other kind of wedding cake (or any cake, for that matter) from Mr. Phillips. He refused to sell them any kind of cake for their reception. Third, the couple did not eat the Colorado rainbow cake at their actual wedding in Mass. Their actual wedding took place in Mass., not in Colorado. They ate the free rainbow cake (a gift) at the reception in Colorado to celebrate their wedding that would take place in another state (where gay marriage was legal). No document indicates what kind of cake they ate in Mass.

Third,  The thing the attorney for petitioners said they were requesting is exactly the thing they ended up actually buying for their actual wedding.  A rainbow colored cake.

Again, the couple didn't buy a rainbow cake. They bought no cake from Mr. Phillips. They received a rainbow cake as a gift from someone else and ate that cake at their celebratory reception.

Now, you can tell me that Craig and Mullins never in a million years would have asked Phillips to make the cake they actually purchased and used at their wedding.  Or you can stay over at the ACLU's website and read the briefs of one side and tell me that didn't even happen, which I suppose is your prerogative too.  But it's all right there if you simply want to read enough to discover it. 

Either way, the facts are vastly more complicated than you present them to be, as is the law.

David,
The ACLU site includes many, many briefs for both sides in this case (and some briefs that support neither side!), not only briefs that support the argument of Craig and Mullins. Mr. Phillips never sold the couple a rainbow cake. The couple never purchased a rainbow cake in Colorado. A rainbow cake was supplied to them gratis by someone else. They ate that cake at their celebratory reception in Colorado. They didn't get married in Colorado. They got married in Mass. I don't know what kind of cake, if any, they ate on that latter occasion.

The facts of what happened in 2012 are not that difficult to sort out here, despite the contradiction between what the attorney for the petitioners asserted before the court and what the attorney for Craig and Mullins asserted before the court. That obvious contrast led Justice Sotomayor to say what she did to Ms. Waggoner. As far as I can tell, the briefs on both sides support what Mr. Cole stated, which goes against what Ms. Waggoner asserted in her oral argument before the court.

Are you asserting that Mr. Cole lied to the Supreme Court when he said what he did? "...because in this case, again, the only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay. And, as a result, he refused to sell them any wedding cake. There was no request for a design. There was no request for a message. He refused to sell them any wedding cake."

Matt Becker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #146 on: December 19, 2017, 01:09:19 AM »
Also, please stop pompously asking people to read things, as if we've never read them.  It's rude.

So, it is ok for you to invite me to read things, but it is "pompous" and "rude" for me to encourage you to read things?

Sometimes, it does indeed appear to me that you haven't read things or haven't read them very carefully, as seems to have been the case with the mother's sworn statement and the petitioner's own brief. The latter makes clear that the rainbow cake in question was a gift, not a cake baked by Phillips, and that the couple and their friends/family ate the cake at the Colorado reception, not at their wedding in Mass. Do you know what they ate in Mass.?

Matt Becker
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:12:23 AM by Mbecker »

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #147 on: December 19, 2017, 01:12:11 AM »
Mr. Gale's initial assertion about religious liberty, which lacked any acknowledgment of the significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country, was inaccurate. 


What are "the significant restrictions"?

I listed some of the pertinent cases in my initial response to Mr. Gale's post that accused me of misrepresenting the facts in this case. If you want to read more about those restrictions, you could read the book I recommended in that post.


So, these are (reformatted, but otherwise unedited) "significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country":


Courts have judged against religious actions that destroy or menace the public order and peace (or that incite to violence).

Courts have ruled that the family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty.

Religious bookstores are not tax-exempt; they still have to charge tax on the sale of their Bibles and religious literature. One cannot engage in religious expressive activity in the Supreme Court Building of the US.

Public school teachers and administrators cannot lead children in a public prayer in public schools.

One cannot appeal to the free exercise clause to justify one's religious use of peyote (i.e., the free exercise clause does not grant exemptions from public accommodation laws).

One cannot appeal to the free exercise clause to excuse the religious sacrifice of children or virgins--or the physical abuse of children or others.

One cannot appeal to one's religious belief to justify racial bigotry in one's business.

An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on account of the employer's religious beliefs.

While federal employees are permitted to express their religious convictions to other employees, they are subject to regulation based on "reasonable predictions of disruption."

Employees at a business cannot be compelled to participate in a business owner's mandatory devotional services.

And so on.


Ahh.  I'm beginning to see how it is that you and I see things so differently. 

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #148 on: December 19, 2017, 01:55:43 AM »
Each person is entitled to practice his or her own religion, and is not limited to religious practices deemed "defensible" by anyone else.

I did not say that the Free Exercise Clause is without limits.  I would not say such a thing.  It's not true.  No right recognized by the Constitution is without limits.

I was replying to a post in which you based your opinion regarding this case in part on your belief that the baker's conduct is not "theologically defensible."  My point was that your theological opinion is not relevant.  Each person is entitled to practice his or her religion and is not limited to practicing a religion that you or anyone else believes to be theologically defensible.

Mr. Gale,
Thank you for this clarification. I took your use of the words "anyone else" in the top assertion above to mean "anyone else," namely, for example, court justices, constitutional lawyers, et al. You didn't give any qualification to those words. So it wasn't clear to me that you were only referring to the freedom of individuals to practice their religion as they see fit within a religious setting and are not limited to practicing a religion that I or anyone else believes to be theologically defensible.

Still, as someone who regularly teaches a university course on Christians in Nazi Germany--where Christians held religious beliefs that were racist, fascist, and hateful--(and as one who is aware of the growing number of avowed Christians in this country who are white supremacists and perpetrators of hate in the name of their religion), I would be shirking my calling if I did not point out and criticize religious beliefs and practices that appear to be theologically indefensible.  I can think of a whole host of domestic and even business situations where Christians have appealed to their religious beliefs to justify their practices or actions against others in those settings that other Christians have rightly found to be theologically indefensible. Those arguments would not likely be welcome in a court of law, but they certainly ought to be welcomed among Christian communities as members of those communities engage in moral and theological reflection with one another. "Judgment begins in the household of God...."

Beyond the legal case of Masterpiece (which does appear to be tangled up with specific religious beliefs and practices), I do think the baker's anti-gay business policy on wedding cakes is theologically indefensible. That is why I introduced that sentence with the conjunctive adverb "Moreover."

Matt Becker
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:11:41 AM by Mbecker »

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #149 on: December 19, 2017, 02:16:58 AM »
Mr. Gale's initial assertion about religious liberty, which lacked any acknowledgment of the significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country, was inaccurate. 


What are "the significant restrictions"?

I listed some of the pertinent cases in my initial response to Mr. Gale's post that accused me of misrepresenting the facts in this case. If you want to read more about those restrictions, you could read the book I recommended in that post.


So, these are (reformatted, but otherwise unedited) "significant restrictions that have been placed on religious liberty in this country":


Courts have judged against religious actions that destroy or menace the public order and peace (or that incite to violence).

Courts have ruled that the family itself is not beyond regulation in the public interest, as against a claim of religious liberty.

Religious bookstores are not tax-exempt; they still have to charge tax on the sale of their Bibles and religious literature. One cannot engage in religious expressive activity in the Supreme Court Building of the US.

Public school teachers and administrators cannot lead children in a public prayer in public schools.

One cannot appeal to the free exercise clause to justify one's religious use of peyote (i.e., the free exercise clause does not grant exemptions from public accommodation laws).

One cannot appeal to the free exercise clause to excuse the religious sacrifice of children or virgins--or the physical abuse of children or others.

One cannot appeal to one's religious belief to justify racial bigotry in one's business.

An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on account of the employer's religious beliefs.

While federal employees are permitted to express their religious convictions to other employees, they are subject to regulation based on "reasonable predictions of disruption."

Employees at a business cannot be compelled to participate in a business owner's mandatory devotional services.

And so on.


Ahh.  I'm beginning to see how it is that you and I see things so differently. 

Pax, Steven+

Steven,

Surely you are not in favor of religious actions that incite to violence, are you? Do you support the religious sacrifice of children or virgins--or the physical abuse of children or others on the basis of an appeal to the Free Exercise Clause? as a religious prerogative? Do you want public school teachers and administrators leading public-school children in public prayer at their schools? Do you favor the use of peyote? Racial bigotry in businesses? Discrimination against an employee on account of the employer's religious beliefs? Do you favor federal employees disrupting and harassing their fellow employees in order to proselytize them regularly, even when their co-workers have said such proselytizing is unwanted and disruptive? Do you really favor business owners compelling their employees to participate in mandatory devotional services at their business?

Which of the above court cases do you see differently from the majority of US Supreme Court justices who decided them?

Matt Becker