Supreme Court Decision on Wedding Cake Case

Sorry to stomp on Betty, but I’m running off to a meeting and wanted to post this.

Supreme Court Sides with Bake Shop

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Lakewood baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

But the court is not deciding the big issue in the case, whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people.

The case pitted Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, and the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

The justices’ limited ruling Monday turns on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Phillips.

The justices voted 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips’ rights under the First Amendment.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion that the issue “must await further elaboration.”

Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

The case presented “difficult questions as to the proper reconciliation of at least two principles. The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services,” Kennedy wrote.

“The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.”

“Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality. The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.”

More at the link.

Time for the free market to balance the scales I guess.

 






201 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Disheartening. This legitimizes discrimination. Sigh.

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    WTF!

    I mean, it’s not Dred Scott, but it’s heading in that direction.

  3. 3
    LAO says:

    Shorter SCOTUS: Hang in there, Christopaths. Kennedy can't last forever.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) June 4, 2018

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    Domino’s pizza is freedom of expression, since each one is individually made. (sorta)
    @LAO: yup

  5. 5
    LAO says:

    It appears to be a pretty narrow decision — and to quote the rude pundit:

    Basically, yeah, the homophobic baker won, but the Supreme Court wussed out on any kind of judgment that would affect "religious freedom" laws.— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) June 4, 2018

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    I’m so depressed at this point, I have to wonder if Russia declared war on the EU, what side would Trump support?

  7. 7
    jayjaybear says:

    Another orientation case in which the Court very carefully and painstakingly avoids doing anything to move orientation to the strict scrutiny standard. I would single out Justice Swing Vote but he wasn’t actually a swing vote this time, as two of the usual Good Guys defected on this (which suggests that it was just a bad case on the merits for this issue). That doesn’t make this any less disappointing for those of us who are still waiting to be actual first-class citizens…

  8. 8
    M4 says:

    This “reasonable,” narrow decision will be used to justify broader conservative decisions down the road, possibly quite soon. It’s how Roberts operates his court.

    Why, it’s almost like this lawsuit was a bad idea!

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    We took the rights of black folks, and many other groups of people, we took those rights away many, many times in this country. No reason we can’t do it again.

  10. 10
    Dupe1970 says:

    @The Moar You Know: We took their rights away under the auspices or religion and the Bible.

  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    If Russia bypassed the rest of Europe and went straight at France, Trump would be all “Fuck those French, they haven’t Treated us Fairly. MAGA!” Hell, had he been president when they invaded Ukraine he’d have asked Vlad whether he needed any military aid.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    “The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.”

    Bull fucking shit.

  13. 13
    Raoul says:

    It is worth remembering that 1986’s Bowers v Hardwick was overturned by SCOTUS just 17 years later in 2003.
    As someone who came out in 1990 in Texas, Bowers was not just some imaginary thing. It lurked in the background any time one was in a municipality with shitty cops (I lived in Austin, so at least at home we didn’t worry). So, yeah, I get that 17 years is a long time personally. But that was a pretty quick reversal in Supreme’s cases.
    We are in dark days, no doubt. But the Reagan years felt pretty damn oppressive and the pendulum swung again. Hang on, stay frosty, keep organizing to win.

  14. 14
    HAL says:

    Maybe this is overly simplistic of me, but if you want to run a business open to the public, why shouldn’t you have to abide by antidiscrimination laws? Make cakes privately via invitation only if you feel the need to discriminate.

  15. 15
    Raoul says:

    @Brachiator: I would like to see a test case of, I dunno, a Lebanese bakery-restaurant run by Muslims, and they refuse to cater a Christian wedding. We’d see just how quickly those First Amendment freedoms get whipsawed around.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The Supreme Court often looks for ways to dispose of cases without resolving the big issue. They wait until a case is teed up in a way that allows no option but to address the big issue.

  17. 17
    randy khan says:

    A friend who’s a genuine Constitutional scholar (as in teaches Constitutional law at a law school and writes books on Constitutional law) thinks the decision is extremely narrow, and basically says that the message is not to base decisions on “anti-religious animus.” He thinks that a decision by the Colorado commission on neutral grounds – that is, not that their religious beliefs were wrong, but that the statute is religion-neutral – would have passed muster.

    He also points out that the likely reason it’s 7-2 and not 5-4 is that Kennedy wrote it that narrowly, and did not give primacy to the bakers’ actual religious beliefs.

  18. 18
    D58826 says:

    @Raoul: Or a Jewish wedding!!

  19. 19
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    Do I understand the decision correctly:if you claim a sincere religious belief, then you are free to discriminate. I wonder if that includes the Bible having supported that black people are damned? Therefore one professing a sincere belief in that vein is free to discriminate against blacks? Or is this ruling limited to discriminating against gays? Asking for a friend.

  20. 20
    Booger says:

    I would love to see a xtian baker refuse to serve liars, thieves, adulterers, et cetera. That would make an interesting business model.

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    @HAL:
    “Whites only” lunch counters come to mind.

  22. 22
    MomSense says:

    Motherfuckers.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @randy khan: I agree with that take.

  24. 24
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    I just bought another person and that person is now my slave. When slave sues for his freedom, Supremns now must decide whether my bbelief is sincere when I say I sincerely believe in the many passages in Old and New Testament that slavery is good and slave must obey master.

  25. 25
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    How will the Supremes judge the sincerity of one’s religious beliefs?

  26. 26
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    Ugh. I find Kennedy’s rulings so weak. So many of his decisions are based on his personal emotional reactions rather than the law. In this case, he keeps emphasizing that the Commission was “rude” to the baker. So what, although I don’t think they were. His rulings on abortions are littered with his “feelings” that women are traumatized by the event, despite evidence to the contrary. His emotional state is not the law. And yes, I know that in his writings on Obergefell decision, emotions play a large part, but underlying that decision is discrimination.

  27. 27
    trollhattan says:

    The kids are alright, Kentucky edition.

    A high school valedictorian in Louisville, Kentucky last week pulled the bait-and-switch on his classmates during his graduation speech, letting the audience celebrate a quote from “Donald J. Trump,” before admitting to the crowd those words actually belonged to Barack Obama.

    “This is the part of my speech where I share some inspirational quotes I found on Google,” Bell County high school student Bill Bowling said in his speech. “‘Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.’—Donald J. Trump.”

    As the crowd began to cheer, Bowling added: “Just kidding. That was Barack Obama.”

    “The crowd erupted in applause and before they could even finish clapping I said I was kidding and the applause quickly died,” Bowling explained

    Asked about his speech, Bowling told USA Today he chose to use the quote because he “just thought it was a really good quote.”

    “Most people wouldn’t like it if I used it, so thought I’d use Donald Trump’s name,” Bowling said. “It is southeastern Kentucky after all.”

    Psych!

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: No, the Court did not address the issue of discrimination. The Court said that CO Civil Rights Commission based their decision on the wrong standard.

  29. 29
    M4 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: from what I’ve read the decision in Colorado was not great—this is just a repudiation of that?

  30. 30
    MomSense says:

    @Booger:

    Don’t forget the people who boil kids in their mothers’ milk.

  31. 31

    @Omnes Omnibus: Negative Nancies are at it again in the last thread. California is lost, T is king for life and so on..
    Things are bad enough, is the daily bath in despair and defeatism necessary?
    /end rant.

    ETA: Rant not directed at you as you are one of the few optimists in the comments.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @M4: I have not read the whole decision, but, as I understand it so far, that appears to be correct.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HAL: That’s why they punted on this. And that’s what this was. @Omnes Omnibus: is absolutely right on his analysis. This isn’t like the case working its way through where the shop owners didn’t just refuse service, but went out of their way to go after the homosexual couple on social media. Basically leveraging the Internet to publicly abuse, shame, and target them. That’s the case that will force them to deal with the broader issue about the actual scope of the civil rights era public accommodation laws and just how broadly or narrowly they should be read.

  34. 34
    oatler. says:

    The justices believe that bloody civil war will not affect them, as if we didn’t know their names.

  35. 35
    Gex says:

    @Raoul: Hell. I would like to see a test of two gay men going to this exact same shop for a birthday cake. Because my guess is that this man would have refused that just as readily as he refused a wedding cake.

  36. 36

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    California is lost

    I thought I told M4, BillinGlendale, and the other Left coasters to put a damn tile tracker on California so we could find it with the app if it got misplaced!!!

  39. 39
    D58826 says:

    Given the SCOTUS decision, and the ramblings of POTUS, the book I’m reading about the next big mega-quake that will destroy the Pacific northwest is probably the brightest part of my day. (sigh)

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    You may not like it now, but you will definitely like it when a court doesn’t go out of its way to resolve a Big Question in a way you don’t like. [Which, my liberal friends amongst you, is a real thing that can and will happen, maybe soon.]

    Conservatives always say shit like this when a Court ruling goes their way or simply preserves a conservative status quo.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: According to the laws of kashrut (kosher, Jewish food purity), one may not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. The kid in this case is a baby lamb. It is the basis for the Jewish dietary prohibition against mixing milk and meat. It does not refer to a human child.

  42. 42
    LAO says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Kids as in baby goats not little humans.

    eta: baby lambs not baby goats as Dr. Silverman correctly notes above. I need a vacation.

  43. 43
    James Powell says:

    @LAO:

    The first cracks in the foundation are always narrow.

  44. 44
    matryoshka says:

    Bush v. Gore was a narrow decision, too. Look where that got us.

  45. 45
    Tokyokie says:

    The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.

    And how does the court know the baker’s religious beliefs are “sincere?” Does sincerity get one off the hook for killing somebody the defendant sincerely believed was demonically possessed? And what proof of that “sincerity” is required? The word of a bigot? That’s a big, steaming crock of shit right there. Somehow I’m guessing that those with religious convictions more aligned with those of the right-wingers on the court will always be accorded a greater depth of sincerity than others.

  46. 46
    LAO says:

    @James Powell: I understand — I only meant “narrow” as a technical legal term. I’m not particularly happy with the ruling.

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: That’s how I originally understood the decision. However, it appears that the decision found that Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission engaged in anti-religious conduct, i.e., apparently Commissioners didn’t properly consider the religious beliefs of the store owner.

    Unfortunately, Christianists are going to see this decision as a license to discriminate against gays. Sigh.

  48. 48
    Gex says:

    Suffice it to say anytime Christianists don’t get the ruling they want they will paint those decisions as hostile towards religion.

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    @JPL: Russia, of course.

  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @Gex:

    I would like to see a test of two gay men going to this exact same shop for a birthday cake. Because my guess is that this man would have refused that just as readily as he refused a wedding cake.

    That would be an interesting case. Have someone go in and ask for a wedding cake decorated with “Happy Birthday to Mike from your loving husband Tom!” or something like that. What would happen then?

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, the Court did not address the issue of discrimination. The Court said that CO Civil Rights Commission based their decision on the wrong standard.

    Interesting. Thanks for the clarification.

  52. 52
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cheryl from Maryland: Kennedy is fundamentally not very smart. Don’t forget he was Bonzo’s third choice after Bork and Ginsburg.

  53. 53
    Another Scott says:

    @jayjaybear:

    (which suggests that it was just a bad case on the merits for this issue)

    That’s my first-blush opinion as well.

    I popped over to SCOTUSBlog and skimmed Kagan’s opinion (agreeing with the majority) and Ginsberg’s dissent. It seems like Colorado messed up in this case, and that the CADA would have covered the discrimination at hand.

    Of course, the RWNJs and Kennedy want to drive a bus through anything that results in expanded religious exemptions (for “Christians”, anyway), but it seems like Colorado needs to go back to the drawing board.

    FWIW. IANAL.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  54. 54
    M4 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I feel like California probably has 90% of them.

  55. 55
    Raoul says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Despair and inaction are just boring and useless. As a gay white man I have a lot of privilege and a few things at risk. But enough of my life is on the table for abuse and reversion that despair is simply not an option.

    Am I mad? Hell yes.
    Am I gloomy some days? Oh, I am.
    Am I inactive, on the gloomy days (or the good days)? Nope. I might take a break, go for a walk, browse for distractions on some non-political sites, etc.

    But I keep on with the LGBTQ nonprofit where I serve on the board.
    I bolster my partner if he flags after tough days at ‘the religion factory’ as he calls his ministry (to a social justice focused UU congregation) I keep him fed, hugged, and even preview his sermons.
    I echo and amplify on social media.
    I strategize and plan my political $$ and work my giving plan as funds allow.
    I cheer on my friends who are also doing the work.

    Despair is one of the goals of the Trumpian/GOP chaos and drumbeats of negativity, fear and anger. I won’t give them victory over me.

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    so,. were the dissenters Ginsberg and Sotomayor?

  57. 57
    Humdog says:

    If I owned a biz, I would consider not hiring anyChristians for positions of trust. They have shown their low character over and over and I, for one, would not trust them to supervise people or watch over the books. Would I get sued?
    Now, i’d serve them, like I would anyone who is not disturbing other clients. And I suppose they could stock shelves or install carpet. But a position of control over others or to cheat? Nah

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @James Powell: That’s not what narrow means in this case. it has nothing to do with the number voting for or against on the Court. Rather it is how limited the ruling is. And this one is all over the map. Kennedy wrote the majority, but only one other Justice, Roberts, signed on to that opinion. Kagan wrote a concurrence with Breyer joining her. Gorsuch wrote his own concurrence that Alito joined. Thomas, as usual, wrote his own stand alone concurrence. Ginsburg wrote the dissent, which was signed onto by Sotomayor. So you have a two person majority supporting by two two person concurrences and a one person concurrence.

    Give this thread a read, it is quite good and interesting:

  59. 59
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: Yup.

    The Opinion is here (59 page .pdf). Ginsberg’s dissent is pages 52-59.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  60. 60

    @Adam L Silverman: @LAO: Thanks for the clarification. I was getting a bit worried that it was ok to boil babies in liquids that were not milk.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    @Raoul:

    I would like to see a test case of, I dunno, a Lebanese bakery-restaurant run by Muslims, and they refuse to cater a Christian wedding. We’d see just how quickly those First Amendment freedoms get whipsawed around.

    Dunno. I want to take a little time and look at analyses of the opinion and the dissents. Kagan, if I understand correctly, voting with the majority is interesting.

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    @LAO:

    No, you were right. A kid is a baby goat and a lamb is a baby sheep. Goat is much tougher than lamb and milk and buttermilk are good meat tenderizers.

  63. 63
    Manyakitty says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Is your demand that everyone live up to your brand of perfection any better? Seriously? Stop and think that maybe you’re not helping, either.

    We all get frustrated. Some people come here looking to vent, others might seek advice about how to fight more effectively.

  64. 64
    ruemara says:

    The problem with the decision is you’re going to see a SLEW of people claiming that they have a religious freedom right based on this decision. “Narrow” does not mean what it does to the public as it does to you legal wonks.

    It’s depressing to see that the US hasn’t fallen, it took a swan dive off an obvious cliff.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Only if you’re making toddler marsala… Or toddler au vin…//

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s not what narrow means in this case. it has nothing to do with the number voting for or against on the Court. Rather it is how limited the ruling is.

    I think it might be interesting to focus in particular on three opinions. Kennedy, Gorsuch and RGB. Obviously, we are going to be hearing more from Gorsuch in the future.

  67. 67
    sdhays says:

    @Another Scott: So, does that mean that the plaintiffs can reapply to the commission in Colorado, and the commission can then establish its decision based on not being rude to the bigots and then everything will be ok?

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: Radicals gonnna radical.

  69. 69
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well thank goodness. I feel so much better now. I am looking forward to reading the full weaseley decision.

  70. 70
    Anonymous At Work says:

    It’s more about the depths of Kennedy’s courage (now, just below the ankles!) and how he and O’Connor used to resolve JUST THAT CASE at JUST THAT TIME, rather than address the issue coming to the Court.

  71. 71

    @Manyakitty: They can vent and so can I. I am not demanding anything.

  72. 72

    @Adam L Silverman: So marinading in yogurt is a kosher no-no as well?

  73. 73
    CliosFanBoy says:

    @Humdog: I assume you mean white fundy evangelicals, and not people like Rev. William Barber, who leas the Moral Mondays movement opposing the RW in North Carolina. :)

  74. 74

    @Anonymous At Work:

    he and O’Connor used to resolve JUST THAT CASE at JUST THAT TIME

    I thought that, without a circuit split, this was what they were supposed to do.

  75. 75
    MomSense says:

    @JPL:

    Hey, here is something to cheer you up. The Parkland kids announced Road to Change. It kicks off on June 15th at the Peace March in Chicago. Student leaders from around the country will travel by bus to hold town hall rallies, register people to vote, and meet with politicians in swing districts. They also plan to meet with NRA groups and go to gun clubs.

    Check it out. It’s all over twitter and instagram. The kids have been teasing this launch and I think it’s going to be wildly successful.

  76. 76

    @Raoul:

    Despair is one of the goals of the Trumpian/GOP chaos and drumbeats of negativity, fear and anger. I won’t give them victory over me.

    Well said. Being an immigrant on R hate list for more reasons than one, despair is a luxury I don’t have.

  77. 77
    GregB says:

    So, how does this ruling work?

    I am convinced that Donald Trump is in league with Satan.

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Raoul:
    I can’t imagine a Muslim caterer refusing to do a Christian wedding reception unless the family insisted on non-halal food, in which case they wouldn’t be talking to a Muslim caterer in the first place.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    Supreme Court Decision on Wedding Cake Case

    And of course, this cheesy song popped into my head …

    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don’t think that I can take it
    ‘Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh no!

  80. 80

    @GregB: They’re both agents of chaotic evil, but I just read Blake’s take on Milton and I gotta say Lucifer had some good points. Trump does not.

  81. 81
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Booger:

    I would love to see a xtian baker refuse to serve liars, thieves, adulterers, et cetera. That would make an interesting business model.

    Bingo! As a gay homo, I con confirm our agenda item of pointing out xtian hypocrisy by getting refused service at bakeries (at first) then lunch counters (where we will stage an iconic racist photo homage.) After that, we’ll be tossed from our apartments then … back to the Supremes for another shot at the culture war. Man, this agenda thing is exhausting! Stop emailing it to me, Pink Cabal!

  82. 82
    CliosFanBoy says:

    FYI, Sonia on this month’s page on the Balloon Juice calendar is named for Justice Sotomayor.

  83. 83
    LAO says:

    @MomSense: LOL — I can’t believe I was right about something jewish, I was raised in super reformed Judaism (or Judaism Lite, as I like to call it) so I can be hit or miss on remembering stuff.

  84. 84
    rp says:

    Greenwald: “Note that – as has often happened – Elena Kagan (and Breyer) joined the right-wing majority in the same-sex wedding cake ruling. The reason her nomination by Obama was controversial was she was replacing the court’s most left-wing member, John Paul Stevens”

    Also Greenwald: “I wasn’t expressing any view of this decision, which I haven’t read. I was merely pointing out that Kagan has often joined with the right-wing majority on the court, which is what those of us who had serious concerns about her nomination said would likely happen.”

  85. 85
    Manyakitty says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Negative Nancies are at it again in the last thread. California is lost, T is king for life and so on..
    Things are bad enough, is the daily bath in despair and defeatism necessary?
    /end rant.

    Got it.

  86. 86
    ruemara says:

    @rp: Ugh, fuck that moron.

  87. 87
    Feathers says:

    So… Could I start a Christian Cake company, where every cake I sold had christian imagery, words, or symbolism? In theory you’d be selling to everyone, but in reality you would only sell products to other christians.

    That always seemed the reasonable option to me. But reasonable is exactly what these folks don’t want to be.

  88. 88
    Manyakitty says:

    @CliosFanBoy: Excellent!

  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    This is my favourite version of that song.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @rp:

    Also Greenwald: “I wasn’t expressing any view of this decision, which I haven’t read. I was merely pointing out that Kagan has often joined with the right-wing majority on the court, which is what those of us who had serious concerns about her nomination said would likely happen.”

    Once again, Greenwald proves that he is a tool and a fool. The tooliest of fools. Fuck him and his concerns.

  91. 91
    stinger says:

    @Tokyokie: I want to know if these bakers who believe in “biblical marriage” have ever baked a wedding cake for a divorced person who was remarrying while their former spouse was still alive.

    Answer: Of course they have. Hypocrites all.

  92. 92

    @Feathers: Well, if you didn’t take custom orders, I don’t see why you couldn’t have such a business.

  93. 93
    pacem appellant says:

    The Black Test: Replace any instance of X with “THE BLACKS” and if it sounds terrible, it’s because it is.
    Example:

    The case presented difficult questions as to the proper reconciliation of at least two principles. The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of THE BLACKS who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services. Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality. The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions [against THE BLACKS].

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yep.

  95. 95
    Wapiti says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Giuliani might try to make the case that if the President were to boil a small child alive in any liquid, it would be legal as long as 1/3 of the Senate refuse to impeach him.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Basically a Methodist then.//

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This is my favourite version of that song.

    Ha! This is pretty good. But still bad.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I guarantee that if somehow GG were appointed to the Supreme Court he would align himself with Justice Thomas.

  100. 100
    Raoul says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t mean for my hypothetical to impugn Muslims. Rather to illustrate how US Xtians are making bad faith claims of religious freedoms.

  101. 101
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Jewnitarian. //

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @LAO:

    The best part is that this is one of the commandments that is actually in effect. The 10 commandments people most often cite were smashed by moses when he came down from his mountain meeting with god and discovered his people were now totes in love with a golden calf. Damned idolaters. Still ruining everything all these years later.

  103. 103
    MomSense says:

    @NotMax:

    HAHAHA!

  104. 104
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You are right, but they based their decision on the Commission’s treatment of “his sincere religious belief.” Thus the Supremes implicitly considered his “sincere religious belief” and decided it was sincere no matter how much they tried to say the decision is only about the actions of the Commissioners. Meaning that lower courts will not see the decision as limited as the Supremes would like to pretend it is limited.

  105. 105
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Seriously, about 20 years ago, my childhood temple introduced an organist and choir to accompany the Cantor. It’s surreal.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: I disagree. A decision at the lower level that assumes good faith belief and still rules against the baker is perfectly plausible. Just like Mormon’s may have a good faith religious belief in polygamy, but it is still not permitted in the US.

  107. 107
    Ruckus says:

    @JPL:
    He’d support the side that paid him the most. Therefore Russia.
    SATSQ

  108. 108
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @JPL:

    I’m so depressed at this point, I have to wonder if Russia declared war on the EU, what side would Trump support?

    I wouldn’t bet against Trump supporting Europe if the only reason so Trump could screw Putin over. Trump’s goal is for everyone not Donald Trump to lose.

  109. 109

    @Adam L Silverman: So no kid tikka masala for the observant.

  110. 110

    @Brachiator: Comrade G^2 is a Russian asset.

  111. 111
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    God, if I could only be a fly on the wall of that room, just to see the look on Putin’s ugly face…

    But I think Trump would probably try to stay neutral, if anything. He’s a coward, remember?

  112. 112
    Barbara says:

    @Feathers: Of course you could do that. Likewise you could tell people that you have standard designs and don’t do custom cakes. There is no question in my mind that it would be illegally discriminatory to refuse to sell any cake to a gay couple because you know they plan to use it at their wedding. That’s basically what a pizza shop in Indiana did — they refused to deliver pizza to a wedding reception when they found out the couple was gay.

    I think the baker here is repugnant, and that anyone who defines their “sincerely held beliefs” in opposition to selected other people is just dressing politics up as religion. If I lived near him I would boycott his business.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Do you mean align legally and/or physically?

  114. 114
    J R in WV says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    @MomSense: Whut?

    That is a paraphrase of a biblical verse interpreted to require (in kosher kitchens) a rigorous separation of dairy and meat, to the extent of requiring separate sets of utensils and dishes for use with meats and dairy. So on swiss cheese on your pastrami sandwiches, and no milk in the gravy with a roast.

  115. 115
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: Please read page 12 under part “B”: “The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.” Almost any trial court’s decision that rejects the claims made by one with “sincere religious beliefs” can be found by an appellate court to express “impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs.” You just watch how often that sentence from page twelve gets cited by appellate courts.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:
    Never forget drumpf is a personal coward.
    He has no problem putting other people at risk, only that he is at risk.
    At the point that he (or his money) isn’t at risk, his traits then lean towards rewarding himself.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: It is a possibility.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL:

    I’m so depressed at this point, I have to wonder if Russia declared war on the EU, what side would Trump support?

    China.

  119. 119
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Raoul:
    “Hang on, stay frosty, keep organizing to win.”

    Amen. Will do. (Am doing.)

    @D58826:
    The brightest part of my past week was reading “Lighting the Fires of Freedom” – a book of interviews with 9 African-American women who were active in the Civil Rights movement, many of them now in their 90s.

    It’s a superb reminder of how much can be accomplished in circumstances far worse than what we are experiencing now. (I.e., most of us do not currently risk being beaten, imprisoned, or killed when we go to register to vote.)

    Between now and November, the most effective thing we can do is to take an active part in concert with the teenagers and the African-American women (and others too) who are out in front of us, showing the way.

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal bigotry were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.

    We has a good run as a Republic. Now we get to watch it all burn.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: My mother’s rabbis are a husband and wife team. She’s about 15 years younger than he is – they met at seminary, which for him was a later in life (mid 30s) career change. She’s basically both the co-rabbi and the cantor. Great voice. Very musically inclined. Etc. For some reason on Kol Nidre she has hired a cellist to accompany her on chanting the service. The guy in charge of the ritual committee doesn’t really like it, but one year while I was helping out with security for Yom Kippur I told him that “there’s always room for cello”. He shut up and walked away, which, to be honest, was what I was going for.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Nope. That said, I’m sure the significant Jewish community in Kerala worked up solutions to these recipe problems.

  123. 123
    Duane says:

    People can’t begin to imagine my deeply held religious beliefs. All the things that were previously unacceptable, well, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! Leave my snakes alone! Time now to exorcise those demons from my wife and daughter. Blasphemous Jezebelles!

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I guarantee that if somehow GG were appointed to the Supreme Court he would align himself with Justice Thomas.

    Would not surprise me at all.

  125. 125
    Cckids says:

    @GregB:

    I am convinced that Donald Trump is in league with Satan.

    But is it a religious conviction? A SINCERE one?

  126. 126
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    I appreciate many jackals for various good qualities – just a quick note to say how much I value your steadfast repudiation of despair.

    Also, kudos and thank you for all the political activity you’re doing! It’s great to read the updates.

  127. 127
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s the case that will force them to deal with the broader issue about the actual scope of the civil rights era public accommodation laws and just how broadly or narrowly they should be read.

    Five/four decision. Fucking chickenheart Kennedy.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: Another problem is this bizarre belief among some bakers, and, apparently some florists and some caterers and/or restauranters, that if they are hired to provide cakes or arrangements or meals for a wedding or some other event that they are somehow not only participating in the event, but are central to that event and that the event is somehow a reflexion on them and their views.

    I’m single. I’m a serial dater or I was before giving that up because of professional issues and concerns that arose during my last relationship. But if, by some very strange confluence of events, I were to ever be married I can tell you that I don’t consider the people I’m paying for the goods and services at the event, unless they were already friends of mine, as participants in the event. I can’t imagine I’d be inviting the baker, the caterer, the owner of the restaurant where the rehearsal dinner was held, and/or the florist to the ceremony unless they were friends and would have been invited regardless. There is a level of arrogance to the arguments here that go beyond artistic expression and pride in one’s creativity and creations.

  129. 129
    Jamey says:

    @GregB: Satan needs a better social secretary, then…

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Negative Nancies are at it again in the last thread. California is lost, T is king for life and so on..

    California’s primaries are no joke. RIdiculing those who have legitimate and well founded fears about the likelyhood of the selection to go pear shaped due to the well known design which has actual historical results backing those fears does you no credit.

  131. 131
    PST says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Kennedy wrote the majority, but only one other Justice, Roberts, signed on to that opinion. Kagan wrote a concurrence with Breyer joining her. Gorsuch wrote his own concurrence that Alito joined. Thomas, as usual, wrote his own stand alone concurrence. Ginsburg wrote the dissent, which was signed onto by Sotomayor. So you have a two person majority supporting by two two person concurrences and a one person concurrence.

    I respectfully dissent. Kagan, Breyer, Alito, and Gorsuch all joined in the majority opinion. That is different from just concurring in the result. The two concurring opinions emphasized the special concerns of the justices that wrote or joined in them, but each such opinion explicitly stands behind what Kennedy wrote. Kagan says, “I join the Court’s opinion in full …,” and Gorsuch says, “I am pleased to join [the] opinion in full.” That’s a big deal, because it commits seven of the justices, including Roberts, Gorsuch, and Alito, to a restrictive view of, at the outside, what limits can be justified by freedom of religious expression. The opinion says:

    When it comes to weddings, it can be assumed that a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform the ceremony without denial of his or her right to the free exercise of religion. This refusal would be well understood in our constitutional order as an exercise of religion, an exercise that gay persons could recognize and accept without serious diminishment to their own dignity and worth. Yet if that exception were not confined, then a long list of persons who provide goods and services for marriages and weddings might refuse to do so for gay persons, thus resulting in a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations.

    It is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons, just as it can protect other classes of individuals, in acquiring whatever products and services they choose on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other members of the public. And there are no doubt innumerable goods and services that no one could argue implicate the First Amendment. Petitioners conceded, moreover, that if a baker refused to sell any goods or any cakes for gay weddings, that would be a different matter …

    In my opinion, anyway, this opinion limits what can be excused based on claims of religious expression, and what lies ahead is how narrowly the liberal wing of the court can get those limits drawn.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: Legally/jurisprudentially.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    You may not like it now, but you will definitely like it when a court doesn’t go out of its way to resolve a Big Question in a way you don’t like.

    Except the SC is about to gut unions when they didn’t have to. The Republicans on the Court deliberately chose to do so.

  134. 134
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The point I make is that the decision can be used to support discrimination if the discrimination is based on “sincere religious belief.”

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: It is certainly a possibility. Unfortunately.

  136. 136
    Barbara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I could not agree more. I got married in my husband’s small, and by small, I mean claustrophobically small town, and the “trades people” — the baker, the caterer, the florist, the photographer — were all known by my in laws; they recommended them! But golly gee whiz, they didn’t come to my wedding, and they barely asked about it. Just, where and when. It’s the weaponizing of Christianity that really depresses me, however, using it to make prophetic claims and hurt people.

  137. 137
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: LOL. BTW, we ALWAYS have a cello for Kol Nidre.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PST: When you phrase it as you have, I concur. My larger point was they felt they needed to add significant additional material in addition to Kennedy’s opinion.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @GregB:

    I am convinced that Donald Trump is in league with Satan.

    That is malicious slander!

    Satan always honors his contracts to the letter.

  140. 140
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: With four different opinions on the majority side (none of which is signed onto by more than two justices), this case has virtually no precedential value.

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There is a level of arrogance to the arguments here that go beyond artistic expression and pride in one’s creativity and creations.

    White privilege is a hell of a drug.

  142. 142
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    With four different opinions on the majority side (none of which is signed onto by more than two justices), this case has virtually no precedential value.

    The Republicans being appointed to the federal courts believe differently. And are very sincere about it.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @Barbara:

    It’s the weaponizing of Christianity that really depresses me, however, using it to make prophetic claims and hurt people.

    Back to the good old days of religious purges and crusades. //

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: Yep. The daughter of very close friends is getting married at the end of the month. I’m invited. I offered, as my gift, to do the baking for the reception. They said that would be great with the exception of the cake as they’d already decided on one done by a professional baker, which is fine. Making a decorative cake for a dozen or two dozen people is easy. Making one for a 100 people is a pain in the ass. I’m just not really equipped for that. But I’m doing all the other stuff, which we’re still discussing. Had their daughter not invited me, for whatever reason, I still would have offered to do the desserts as a gift.

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    unless the family insisted on non-halal food, in which case they wouldn’t be talking to a Muslim caterer in the first place.

    I see the problem here. You’re assuming rationality on behalf of the other party.

  146. 146
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    This all seems quite slippery slope to me, as other have mentioned; so how does “Religious freedom” apply to other laws? Also, yes we all know the culture warriors have their fingers crossed on this but, how does this apply to Satanists, Muslims, Buddhists, Seven Day Adventists, neo-pagans and non believers?

  147. 147
    TenguPhule says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Also, yes we all know the culture warriors have their fingers crossed on this but, how does this apply to Satanists, Muslims, Buddhists, Seven Day Adventists, neo-pagans and non believers?

    Does not apply to non-Christians*.

    *Christianity will be determined by donations to the Republican Party.

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Always room…

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Maybe they want the day to be extra special so they are inserting themselves into the process, because they are such special people that the day just wouldn’t be the same without them. Which is of course what you are saying, it wouldn’t be the same without them. It would be better.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Strike that. They joined the opinion not just the result.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not that either Gorsuch or Alito believe in precedent. Nor Thomas either.

  152. 152
    Gex says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not so much arrogance but the framework crafted by the right to wage this war on gays that has far too readily been adopted by sellers of cakes but somehow not by sellers of guns.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I figured, but it is GG so one never knows what blows wind up his dress.

  154. 154
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    God, if I could only be a fly on the wall of that room, just to see the look on Putin’s ugly face…

    On line friend of mine lived in Russia and was telling me that pretty much everyone is Russia from Putin on down fully expects Trump to screw them at some point because Trump is a narcissistic douche nozzle.

    But I think Trump would probably try to stay neutral, if anything. He’s a coward, remember?

    Maybe, it’s hard to believe Bolton would pass the opportunity for a war so there would be a lot of bootlickers around Trump to boost Trump’s courage. I suppose it could come down to did Europe or the Russian Federation have more Trump Hotels and could Europe do all the hard work so Trump could take the credit.

  155. 155
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Not that either Gorsuch or Alito believe in precedent. Nor Thomas either.

    Roberts only believes in whatever he thinks makes him look good.

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gex: The big untapped firearms market is actually the LGBTQ community. I’m not kidding and there are attempts to market to them. I’d also argue similar for African Americans, LatinX Americans, and religious minorities in the US. Honestly if you want to freak out the People of the Gun, and actually show they aren’t arguing in good faith, make a large scale, very public push for Muslim American, LGBTQ American, African American, and LatinX American gun ownership and concealed carry for self defense and to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Which is what the Armed Intelligentsia claim are the two real reasons for the 2nd Amendment. Force them to realize that the saying that “G-d made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t just apply to white Christians.

  157. 157
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Does not apply to non-Christians*.

    Of course that’s what the Christ-o-Fascists tell themselves, but this is like the manger scenes at city hall. It was all fun and games until the Satanists asked for space and then the god brotherers decided public Christmas displays were a horrible idea.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: I try not to think about such things.

  159. 159
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: This does appear to be a significant portion of his motivation.

  160. 160
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Force them to realize that the saying that “G-d made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t just apply to white Christians.

    Cue the Reagan revival.

    “Your skin must be this shade of light to possess a gun.”

    Violations will be punished by death. Police will deliver the sentence on site.

  161. 161
    chopper says:

    @LAO:

    kol nidre sucks without a string section.

  162. 162
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Yep. There will be a lot of soiled underwear.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    TriassicSands says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Not that either Gorsuch or Alito believe in precedent. Nor Thomas either.

    Like all good hypocrites, they believe in it when it favors their agenda. Of course, SCOTUS justices aren’t supposed to have agendas.

    Belief in precedent? Thomas least so of all the justices. To him “stare decisis” is just yesterday’s news. Precedent can be difficult for justices of principle. Every time the Supreme Court makes a bad decision, they are creating precedent. Should that be honored? Right now the SCOTUS’ radical right-wing majority is making some of the worst decisions in our history (e.g., Citizens United, voting rights, etc.). Surely, we all want them overturned in the near future, but to do so is to ignore precedent. In the case of something like Citizens United it would be better to have a constitutional amendment ruling out money as “speech.” I’d like it to set some meaningful limitations on corporate power in general in part by addressing social responsibility. However, with the GOP involved, I can’t see that ever happening.

    The case of the baker is more problematic than a lot of well-intentioned people might think. Imagine if you produced a product and the religious bigots wanted to use it to further their cause. Would you feel justified in denying them the use of your work? How would I feel? Disgusted. And opposed to it. It is too bad that the baker, in this case, couldn’t separate his religious beliefs, which I view as bigotry rooted in ignorance, from his craft. The idea that making a cake for a same-sex ceremony is endorsing the relationship is one that different people will view differently. I’m vehemently opposed to religion in the political realm, but I can see how Breyer and Kagan could have joined the Court’s bigoted majority. The fact that this was not a typical 5-4 decision is an indication that it is more complicated than it seems at first blush.

  165. 165
    Brachiator says:

    @Barbara:

    It’s the weaponizing of Christianity that really depresses me, however, using it to make prophetic claims and hurt people.

    Historically, and to too many Christians, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  166. 166
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Gee, I’m sensing…*opportunity*, here, for some enterprising soul(s).//

    Or, maybe just a really pointed SNL skit.

  167. 167
    eemom says:

    Put me down on the calm the fuck down side. Whatever genius commissioner wrote the decision being appealed went out of his way to abuse religion in general as a tool of persecution. That kind of shit does NO cause dear to our hearts any favors. Actually it plays right into the hands of trumptards.

    This Slate commentary seems right to me. Ultimately the Supreme decision is a wash because it provides cite-worthy fodder for both sides of the argument.

  168. 168
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Maybe. Most rabbinic interpretations, which, admittedly, come out of the European traditions, is that coconut milk is prohibited as if it is dairy under the “you shall not build a stumbling block for a righteous man” provisions of Judaic law. This is actually in the Talmud, which is the interpretation of the law and how to apply it. Basically the argument is that if you invite someone to your home and are serving meat and they see you pour them a glass of coconut milk and it is clear that they know it is coconut milk, then no commandments have been broken if they consume it with the meat meal you’ve prepared. But if the next time they come over and you are serving meat and they see a glass on the counter and it is milk, but they, because of their previous experience, assume it is coconut milk and consume it with the meat meal you are serving, or within the prohibited time window between consuming dairy and then consuming meat, you have then caused them to break the commandment. You have put a stumbling block before a righteous person. So, to prevent this unlikely event from occurring, coconut milk is treated as if it is real milk and may not be used to prepare meat, served with meat, consumed with meat, and if one consumes coconut milk, as is the case with other forms of dairy, one must wait at least 30 minutes before consuming meat. Conversely, if one consumes meat, one must wait 12 to 16 hours before consuming dairy as the rabbis reasoned that meat too far, far longer to digest and pass through one’s system than dairy.

    Now the Keralan Jews likely had and have their own interpretations that account for significant regional differences in diet. And because they were largely cut off from the European rabbis that were coming up with these rules.

  169. 169

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t about Keralite Jews specifically, but Indians who live on the west coast of India use coconut milk and coconuts in just about everything.

  170. 170
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’ll just leave this “Negores Invade Capitol” article here

    Arming minorities is the fastest path to gun control (historically). Of course, many get shot by the cops on the way to gun control passage….

    PS You probably knew this, but the shoot out at the OK coral was in large part over the unwillingness of the Clanton gang, the “Cowboys,” to obey Tombstone’s gun restrictions.

  171. 171

    @H.E.Wolf: Thank You. Glad to know it is appreciated. I too appreciate your input about how to fight back.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    A wise decision.

  173. 173
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Imagine if you produced a product and the religious bigots wanted to use it to further their cause. Would you feel justified in denying them the use of your work? How would I feel? Disgusted. And opposed to it.

    I understand your argument, but for all the high falutin language I use, I’m essentially a mercenary. I basically have three questions I ask in relation to taking an assignment/job: 1) Is this in some way going to be detrimental to the interests of the US (if the job/assignment is consulting with something that isn’t the US government/military), 2) Who is funding it?, 3) Do I have the authority to actually do what I’m agreeing to be responsible for? And a possible fourth in case it involves a deployment: 4) Do I have the necessary support to complete the assignment and to get me out of trouble if something goes wrong?

  174. 174
  175. 175
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s why you’d have to specifically look into it. I know a lot about the Keralan Jewish community, but how they interpreted kashrut is not one of them.

  176. 176
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: I’m aware of both. But thanks!

  177. 177
    bluefish says:

    such BS — want to be in business? cut the crap! — court decision a typically weak cup of tea

  178. 178
    MCA1 says:

    @Yarrow: That’s the case that sort of gives the lie to the commissioned wedding cake scenario that seems to be used as the justification in all these wedding cake cases. The public accommodation doctrine jurisprudence is clear on the fact that a customer could walk into the store and announce “Hello! I am gay! I would like to purchase that cake there in the display counter” and they cannot be turned away. You can’t be in business as a general matter only for white people, straight people, etc.

    There seems to be some distinction to be made, though, in these religious freedom cases, that hinges on the service or product being provided as not being a public accommodation type of purchase, but rather an artistic expression. Essentially the baker is saying “I put my heart and my emotions into each work of edible art I create that you call a ‘wedding cake,’ and so it wounds me deeply to place a same sex couple embracing on the top of that cake.” They’re basically arguing that it’s like we’re forcing a kosher foodie to go to a barbecue joint, or making the homophobic baker write a novel about a gay romance or something. That pain to the religious belief of the baker is compared to the interest of the consumer in being able to have the baker of its choice create their wedding cake, and has been treated, as least legislatively in those states with these sorts of religious accommodation laws, as carrying more weight.

    I guess I don’t buy the aggrieved bakers’ take on all this, though. Because I don’t think what they’re doing is artistic so much as professional service. That’s probably viewed by bakers as delegitimizing everything they do, but too bad. When a baker undertakes to bake a wedding cake, it’s not an expression of their artistic and emotional feelings about love or the institution of marriage (straight or otherwise). It’s a fucking cake. It can be more or less pleasing to the eye (which we might even call “artistry” but that doesn’t make it “art”), and taste better or worse, but it’s not like there’s an artistic theory underlying it all, or some abstraction. They all basically look the same, and follow the same plan from cake to cake, and a bakery will produce at minimum dozens of essentially the same thing every year.

    So to Yarrow’s point, then, what’s the difference, really, between writing “Happy Birthday, Tom, from Vicky” and “Happy Birthday, Tom, from Bob?” Pretty much none, in an artistic sense. It’s rote. So if there’s no 1st Amendment exception for that, why should there be for the topping on a wedding cake, or the sexual orientation of the customer buying it? Is there really that much of artistic merit and value in the multi-tiered nature of it? No. It’s harder to pull off, for sure. But that doesn’t make it an artistic creation. This is a lot closer to refusing to seat a black customer at the lunch counter than it is to a painter refusing the commission from a person asking him to paint something they find morally offputting.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m essentially a mercenary. I basically have three questions I ask in relation to taking an assignment/job: 1) Is this in some way going to be detrimental to the interests of the US (if the job/assignment is consulting with something that isn’t the US government/military), 2) Who is funding it?, 3) Do I have the authority to actually do what I’m agreeing to be responsible for? And a possible fourth in case it involves a deployment: 4) Do I have the necessary support to complete the assignment and to get me out of trouble if something goes wrong?

    You can’t be a mercenary. You don’t follow the first rule of successful mercenaries.

    Rule 1: Where’s my money?

  181. 181
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Great! Now I’m hungry!

    And I fixed your link. It was capturing the reply button.

  182. 182
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: That’s in there too. But it was so obvious as to not need listing.

  183. 183
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Wrong. That is not how appellate lawyers and appellate courts use Supreme Court decisions. They almost never reject the citation to language contained in a decision and reject using it because the majority wad reached with several concurring decisions, especially when a majority joined the decision.

  184. 184
    Duane says:

    @MCA1: The religious freedom bunch are full of shit. It’s an excuse to cover for bigotry. Also the cake is not art. It’s a cake. That’s all it is.

  185. 185
    Another Scott says:

    Note the quote that got Kennedy and others so bothered:

    “I would also like to reiterate what we said in the
    hearing or the last meeting. Freedom of religion and
    religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimi-
    nation throughout history, whether it be slavery,
    whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean,
    we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom
    of religion has been used to justify discrimination.
    And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of
    rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion
    to hurt others.” Tr. 11–12.

    I’m having a lot of trouble getting upset about that, or thinking that it is somehow “disparaging Phillip’s religion”, myself.

    Is it really controversial that religious arguments have been used to discriminate that way?

    (groucho-roll-eyes.gif)

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  186. 186
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: Read my reply to myself further down.

  187. 187
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @eemom: I would guess that you would place yourself in the category of persons who will never be adversely affected by this decision. Please tell me how this guess is wrong and what category you think you are in that might be adversely affected. Thanks.

  188. 188
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But it was so obvious as to not need listing.

    For a true mercenary, Rule 1 in sufficient quantities overrides your Rules 1-3.

    I give you Eric Prince.

  189. 189
    TenguPhule says:

    @Another Scott:

    Is it really controversial that religious arguments have been used to discriminate that way?

    Christianity can’t fail. It can only be failed.

  190. 190
    burnspbesq says:

    @randy khan:

    I would sign on to your friend’s view, except that it could have been narrower—instead of reversing, the court could have vacated and remanded for a new hearing before the agency.

    The sky didn’t fall today, but that doesn’t mean it won’t ever fall.

  191. 191
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Raoul:

    It is worth remembering that 1986’s Bowers v Hardwick was overturned by SCOTUS just 17 years later in 2003.

    I was co-counsel on a case with Mike Bowers a few years alter, when he was still AG of Georgia. He was actually a sharp lawyer, if way too conservative for me.

  192. 192
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m a professional, not a religious fanatic with delusions of grandeur in bed with hostile foreign powers in contravention of my oath.

  193. 193
    Dan Borroff says:

    As young gay activists we avoided a mafia contract (with help from the Blackstone Rangers), persuaded the head od the Vice Squad that gays dancing together was not obscene (with help from a Black Muslim and 60 ACLU attorneys), and disrupted two anti-gay psychiatrist’s presentations at the 1971 APA convention – again avoiding arrest due, in part to ACLU presence. All this was after I was booted out of college before I’d even met one gay person, at least as I was aware. So the SC decision is deeply discouraging because I’ve experienced ‘sincerely held beliefs’. Anything less than standing up for human dignity opens the door to harm. The law cannot change hearts but it can harden them. This decision seems to ensure that the vast majority of the public will nit grasp the fine details but will see it as placing ‘religion’ above the law.

  194. 194

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It does not refer to a human child.

    Sure, that’s your interpretation of scripture. //

    I’ve Tiled California for the past couple of years.

  195. 195
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: We’re Jews, not Molochites.

  196. 196
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Coconut milk. Especially in Kerala.

  197. 197
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: Please see my comment #168.

  198. 198
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Justices Weathervane and Indecisive wouldn’t take the case unless there was a split circuit happening or about to happen. Since they joined, the Supreme Court’s workload has dramatically declined.
    Or, put another way, the Supreme Court isn’t supposed to hear a decision unless it has an issue to resolve, and then it picks a case through which to resolve the issue. Kennedy and O’Connor wouldn’t resolve the issue, just second-guess the case.

  199. 199
    Anonymous patient says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the saying that “G-d made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t just apply to white Christians.

    I know a lot of back-to-the-land folk who absolutely believe that. If for no other reason than to keep groundhogs and deer out of the gardens, which, if you grow what you eat, is a serious business! Self-protection also.

  200. 200
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Dan Borroff: You nailed it!

  201. 201
    Nora says:

    @stinger: Absolutely! If you’re willing to make cakes for divorced people who are remarrying, then your beliefs are not at all “Christian.” I don’t remember anything in the Gospels where Jesus said marriage was only between a man and a woman, but I DO remember Jesus saying “What God has joined, let no man put asunder.” Mark 10: 9. If you’re okay with divorced people remarrying, your objection to gay people marrying is NOT based on your religion, because you’re already violating your religious founder’s principles.

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