The Masterpiece Cake Shop Supreme Court Case Doesn't Really Have To Do Anything With Cake

November 1, 2017

A case is headed to the Supreme Court in December that centers around Jack Phillips, the owner of the Colorado-based Masterpiece Cakeshop, who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. But the case doesn’t actually have anything to do with cake—it’s rather an issue that hangs on the line between free speech and discrimination.

Phillips argues his cakes are art, and as such he shouldn’t be forced to make it for anyone he doesn’t want to—including David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who claim that Phillips was discriminating against them because they are gay. But Colorado’s anti-discrimination law says he can’t refuse his service to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Trump administration filed a “friend of the court” brief in July on Phillips's behalf, lining itself up as an ally for Phillips and the argument for free speech. In their brief, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall and Department of Justice attorneys wrote that, since Phillips is creating art, there isn’t a clear line between what he creates and his speech.

Read the full piece here

Last modified 

November 3, 2017