The Supreme Court opinion today which affirmed the right of Colorado baker Jack Phillips to live according to his faith is a victory for religious liberty.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission opinion is another in a series of cases where the court has been asked to weigh in on the tension between the sincerely held religious convictions of business owners, and increasingly intrusive laws.
I filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in defense of Phillips’s constitutional rights in this case. It said, in part, “The Colorado court envisions a world where government may require shedding religious belief or speech as a mere price to pay to start (or stay) in business. Religious believers can be asked to pay the price of stifling conscience or being penalized. While advertised as ‘anti-discrimination’ statutes, in practice, ‘people of good faith’ whose faith does not condone same-sex marriage are excluded from owning or running a business.” Click to download the full text.
The fact that the opinion was 7 to 2 (not a narrow 5 to 4) underscores the argument that government is not entitled to compel citizens to violate their deeply held religious convictions.
In contrast, my Democrat opponent, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, tweeted this today:
We must strive for an application of the law that protects the rights of every American while preserving rights of conscience and religious liberty.
As we celebrate with Jack Phillips, we look forward to the day when the Constitutional rights of all are once again honored and protected at every level of government.