Written by Don Byrd
Yesterday’s much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop was a victory for plaintiff Jack Phillips. As I detailed in my post about the decision, however, the opinion – relying on facts specific to Phillips’ case, rather than broader legal pronouncements – may not have provided much meat for advocates on either side of the debate. That sentiment dominated most of the media coverage and expert analysis of Justice Kennedy’s majority view.
Here are some links to helpful coverage and responses, along with some key quotes from each:
-The Baptist Joint Committee’s Holly Hollman issued a statement following the ruling – “Rather than determining whether the business owner’s refusal to provide a service violated the law, the Court decided today’s case based on the actions of the administrative body charged with enforcing the law.”
-BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler tweeted: “In the
#MasterpieceCakeshop opinion, #SCOTUS rules that how we navigate these difficult issues of competing claims sometimes is as important as what we decide.
-Baptist News Global’s Bob Allen called the ruling only a “partial win” for the baker – “The 7-2 verdict stopped short of establishing as a matter of law that a business owner’s moral beliefs trump nondiscrimination laws when it comes to LGBTQ people and same-sex couples, the hoped-for outcome by the Religious Right.”
-The Baptist Standard’s Ken Camp quotes the ACLU to explain how “both sides”can claim victory – “The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Mullins and Craig during the appeal process, claimed at least a limited victory, saying the Supreme Court “did not accept arguments that would have turned back the clock on equality by making our basic civil rights protections unenforceable.”
-The NYTimes report says that faced with a “stark choice,” Justice Kennedy “chose a third path” – “When the Colorado case was argued in December, Justice Kennedy seemed frustrated with the main choices available to him and hinted that he was looking for an off ramp.”
-Law professor Eugene Volokh wonders if the ruling is a clue to the outcome in another decision we are awaiting – “Does all this talk about government officials’ statements showing religious bias foreshadow the result in the …”Trump Travel Ban” case, where the challengers are arguing that various statements by candidate Trump or President Trump show that the restrictions on travel from certain countries were motivated by religious hostility? Your guess is as good as mine.
-The Washington Post report noted that the narrow ruling means the Court is not done with this issue – “Several legal disputes are pending over wedding services, similar to the Phillips case. Video producers, graphic artists and florists are among business owners who say they oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds and don’t want to participate in same-sex weddings.”
What am I missing? Which takes should I add to this list? Tweet me – @BJCBlog.
You can read my summary of the Court’s decision and highlights from the opinion in my blog post here.