Clearly seething over their loss at the nation’s highest court, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is once again targeting Christian baker Jack Phillips for refusing to bake cakes that violate his religious beliefs.
Undeterred by the judicial smackdown they received at the Supreme Court in June, where they were admonished for persecuting Phillips and his Christian beliefs, the state has taken up the case of Autumn Scardina, a transgender lawyer who wanted Masterpiece Cakeshop to create a cake celebrating the transition from male to female. Phillips refused to bake the cake, Scardina – clearly hoping to bait Phillips into this very decision – filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Commission, and we’re off to the races one more time.
“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President Kristen Waggoner. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him—something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”
The ADF, which represented Phillips in the original case before the Supreme Court, has asked for an injunction against the Civil Rights Commission to nip this new case in the bud. It remains to be seen if Colorado courts will take a cue from the Supreme Court (and the First Amendment) and put the CRC in their place.
We would go as far to say that this case is an even more egregious breach of Phillips’ rights than the original gay wedding cake case. In that one, you could at least make a spurious argument that baking a cake for a gay wedding does not necessarily denote a “message” of any kind. It’s not an argument that resonates, but it’s at least an argument. You cannot say the same for a cake that specifically celebrates transgenderism, and this complaint should have been rejected the moment it landed at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Alas, it could not be clearer that the state of Colorado is out for revenge. The fact that they are pursuing this case after being specifically told to stand down by the Supreme Court should result in a much harsher penalty than a simple injunction. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission needs to be hit for punitive damages, lest they continue to make life hell for Jack Phillips and other practicing Christians who do not wish to be told by the government what they must create or what messages they must endorse.
The first time around, we were happy enough just to see Phillips secure a victory. This time, we will not be satisfied unless the Colorado Civil Rights Commission gets the punishment they are due for violating the First Amendment.