February 23, 2018

Good Law | Bad Law #66 - Let them eat cake? The Supreme Court weighs free expression versus non discrimination W/ Rod Smolla

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast series Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Rod Smolla, Dean of the Widener University Law School in Delaware, to discuss the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that was recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

If you are unfamiliar with the case you can learn more about it here. But, as a brief background, the Masterpiece Cakeshop is a bakery in Colorado that custom makes wedding cakes. A gay couple went to the shop to order a custom cake for their wedding. When they explained what they wanted, the owner of the store refused to make the custom wedding cake; he would however sell them one of their pre-made cakes. Same-sex marriage was not recognized in Colorado at this time and the owner of the bakery, Jack Phillips, said he didn’t support same sex marriages due to his religion.

 

Jack C. Phillips, views his cakes as works of art and believes by making a custom cake for a gay couple’s wedding, it would be seen as him endorsing their marriage. Because of that, he didn’t feel comfortable making the custom wedding cake for the couple.

 

The case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court and was argued on December 5th, 2017. It’s a very tough case to predict because it pits a few fundamental values against each other. On one hand, we have the first amendment which protects our religious freedoms and the freedom to say (and not say) what we want. On the other hand, we value everyone in our country as equal, regardless of their sexual preference, skin color, gender, or anything else. Because of that, businesses can’t discriminate who they sell to or do work for.

 

Dean Smolla does a fantastic job breaking down the facts of the case and explaining the challenges the Supreme Court is facing with this case.

Read the briefs here:

BRIEF IN OPPOSITION

BRIEF FOR RESPONDENT COLORADO CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION

BRIEF FOR PETITIONERS

 

To hear more about Barnett Case discussed in the episode, listen here:

https://thelawmatters.podbean.com/e/good-law-bad-law-44-taking-a-knee-first-amendment-rights-in-school-w-josh-kershenbaum-grace-osa-edoh/

 

Remember to tune in every Friday for new episodes of Good Law | Bad Law!

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Rod Smolla

 

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