Jack Phillips continues to defend the cause of religious liberty, and he’s winning again.
On January 7, senior federal district court judge Wiley Daniel denied the state of Colorado’s request to dismiss Jack Phillips’ lawsuit charging the state with religious discrimination and harassment. Masterpiece II, as it’s being called, is Jack’s attempt to prevent the state from wrongly harassing him a second time for so-called LGBT discrimination.
You’ll recall that Jack was vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2018, when the high court reversed a Colorado effort to punish him over a same-sex wedding cake.
Only weeks after the Masterpiece I decision, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission issued Jack yet another “notice of probable cause” that he had violated the state anti-discrimination law, this time for declining to custom create a “gender transition” cake for Autumn Scardina, a self-identified transgender lawyer. Scardina had been making it a point to call Jack’s shop every so often to ask for as many different offensive or obscene cakes as the lawyer could dream up in his quest to set Jack up for another trip to the Civil Rights Commission. And the state played along.
“The same agency that the Supreme Court rebuked as hostile to Jack Phillips has remained committed to treating him unequally and forcing him to express messages that violate his religious beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jim Campbell in a statement. “Colorado is acting in bad faith and with bias toward Jack. We look forward to moving forward with this lawsuit to ensure that Jack isn’t forced to create custom cakes that express messages in conflict with his faith,” he added.
Unless the State of Colorado has an immediate change of heart, it stands to lose again at the U.S. Supreme Court, and lose big. This time around, the state’s obstinate refusal to deal fairly with Jack will leave it very few defenders as the state’s anti-religious sentiments are displayed for the second time on the national stage.
The official name of the Masterpiece II litigation is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Elenis, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.