At the Cato Institute website, Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran discuss their recent brief supporting another wedding cake baker’s petition to the US Supreme Court:
Is cake-baking art, and if so, can someone be compelled to bake one in violation of his or her religious beliefs? More specifically, can a Christian baker refuse to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple due to her sincere religious objections to same-sex marriage? In short, the Court’s decision was really a minor work, not a masterpiece.
Wait, didn’t the Supreme Court already resolve these questions in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case earlier this year? Actually, no; the Court declined to answer these and related important issues, instead ruling narrowly in the baker’s favor because the state civil rights commission displayed animus toward his religious beliefs. There was even unresolved disagreement over whether the baker refused to sell the couple a custom cake or any cake. In short, the Court’s decision was really a minor work, not a masterpiece.
But the Court’s punt, to mix metaphors, didn’t kick the can very far down the road. While the Washington Supreme Court is going through the motions of reconsidering the Arlene’s Flowers case in light of Masterpiece, an Oregon case involving another baker has reached the Supreme Court’s doorstep. Melissa and Aaron Klein are practicing Christians who owned and operated a bakery where they made and sold custom wedding cakes. An administrative law judge fined them $135,000 (!) for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, putting them out of business. Even though the Kleins had gladly served the couple in the past and merely objected to helping celebrate this particular ceremony, an Oregon state appellate court upheld the fine.
The full article is available here.