Jack Phillips is back in court today to defend his constitutional First Amendment right to free speech against a leftist, transgender attorney with a chip on his shoulder.
Phillips’ attorneys, who work for Alliance Defending Freedom and represent him pro bono, are defending him in front of the Colorado Court of Appeals, after a trial court ruled against Phillips last year.
If it seems like Jack Phillips has been in court for a decade – it’s because he has been in court for a decade, since 2012. All that time, he’s sought to defend his right to use his artistic talents in a manner consistent with his core beliefs.
Phillips won a case at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018, Masterpiece I, where seven justices ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated Phillips’ right to freely exercise his religion.
The same day that Phillips won his case in 2018, a transgender activist lawyer, who goes by the name Autumn Scardina, called his cakeshop to order a custom-made cake, pink on the outside and blue on the inside, to celebrate his “gender transition” from male to female.
Jack declined, and this lawyer quickly filed a complaint against Jack with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case, Masterpiece II, was dropped by the Commission after Jack countersued the Commission for harassing him.
Shortly after that began Masterpiece III, where the same transgender lawyer filed a civil lawsuit against Phillips, which Jack lost in March 2021.
On October 5, 2022, Phillips’ lawyers argued before the Colorado Court of Appeals, asking the court to uphold Jack’s First Amendment right not to create artistic messages that he disagrees with.
“No one should be forced to express a message that violates their beliefs and conscience,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner, who is representing Phillips.
“Activists and state laws have threatened artists like Jack and graphic artist Lorie Smith because they can’t express messages on marriage and gender that violate their core beliefs. In this case, an activist attorney demanded that Jack create expressive cakes to test him and ‘correct the errors’ of his thinking.
“The attorney even promised to sue Jack again if the case is dismissed for any reason. Free speech is for everyone. The Constitution protects the freedom of every American to express ideas even if the government disagrees with those ideas.”
The Daily Citizen will keep you apprised of any important developments in this case.
The case is Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considered another case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, that could have a major impact on free speech rights, and the outcome of Jack Phillips’ case. To read the Daily Citizen’s most recent analysis of the case, click here.
Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.