Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision Just Kicks the Can Down the Road in Conflict Between Religious Liberty and Homosexual ‘Dignity’

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

“One wonders how the case would have come out if the Colorado Commission had not been overtly hostile to Jack Phillips.”

By William Olson and Herb Titus, first published June 5, 2018, by Restoring Liberty

[On June 4], the Supreme Court ruled in favor of cake maker Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Justice Kennedy wrote the decision for the Court, joined by six other justices, both liberal and conservative. Justices Gorsuch and Alito concurred, Justices Thomas and Gorsuch concurred, Kagan and Breyer concurred, and Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented.

There is very little principled analysis in any of the Court’s five opinions except for that of Justice Thomas, who concluded that Phillips was denied his freedom of speech.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion focused mainly on the despicable treatment Phillips received in front of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In particular, Justice Kennedy noted that the Commission ruled against Phillips for his refusal to bake a pro-gay cake, but ruled in favor of three other bakers who refused to bake anti-gay cakes.

The significance of the majority opinion is nicely summed up in its last paragraph: “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

In other words, this decision is essentially confined to his facts — ruling for Jack Phillips because the Colorado commission was openly hostile towards Phillips’ religious beliefs. Every future case involving such a state “public accommodations” law, however, will be a balancing act, conducted by federal judges, pitting homosexual “dignity” against sincere religious beliefs.

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Does the Supreme Court Have the Authority to Mandate Same-Sex ‘Marriage’?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Supreme-Court-2014

Abusing Authority? Current U.S. Supreme Court: Standing in back (left to right): Justices: Sonia Sotomayor; Stephen Breyer; Samuel Alito; and Elena Kagan. Front row, sitting (left to right): Justices: Clarence Thomas; Antonin Scalia; Chief Justice John Roberts; Anthony Kennedy; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Click to enlarge.

“The High Court often acts as if it has been entrusted with the raw power to decide for us the most important public policy issues facing the nation.” — William Olson & Herb Titus 

The article below is the first in a series on the courts and homosexual “marriage”; the destructive effect of judicially-imposed counterfeit “marriage” on the nation; and how we as citizens can fight back against this immoral legal/cultural juggernaut. We have taken the liberty of putting quotation marks around the word same-sex “marriage” even when the authors do not–as part of our ongoing struggle to preserve the real meaning of words against “progressive” semantic distortions. Yes, it’s a pain in the rear but it’s the right thing to do.

Kudos to attorneys and pro-family advocates Bill Olson and Herb Titus for conceiving of this project and giving so much of their time and energy toward these in-depth articles together. Thanks also to the U.S. Justice Foundation for financing this project. Should you want to help support this important work, contributions may be made to the U.S. Justice Foundation. — Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth; Twitter: @PeterLaBarbera

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Reconsidering the U.S. Supreme Court’s Authority to Mandate Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

(Part one of a series)

By William J. Olson and Herbert W. Titus

On April 28, 2015, nine unelected lawyers drawn from three elite law schools (Harvard, Yale, and Columbia) listened to 90-minutes of oral argument about same-sex marriage and then retreated behind a wall of red velvet drapes to confer secretly about whether the U.S. Constitution requires that the U.S. Supreme Court impose same-sex “marriage” on the entire nation.

Consider for a moment the process by which that decision will be reached.  When the Court decided to hear the Obergefell consolidated cases from the Sixth Circuit, that decision was reached in secret. The Justices consult only with their colleagues and their law clerks, also drawn from elite law schools.  When a decision in the case is issued, presumably before the end of the current term toward the end of June, the Court will address only those issues argued by parties and the amici curiae that it cares to address.  Its opinion will contain only those reasons for its decision that the Court chooses to reveal. The majority decision may be agreed to by as few as five of these nine justices unaccountable to no one but themselves. And then, the Court will expect the American people to set aside their individual and collective judgment and passively abide by whatever decision is reached — based on a doctrine no where found in the U.S. Constitution–“judicial supremacy.”

Although the Supreme Court’s only constitutional responsibility is to resolve “cases” and “controversies” brought before it, the High Court often acts as if it has been entrusted with the raw power to decide for us the most important public policy issues facing the nation. While the Court would have us believe that those decisions are mandated by faithful adherence to the constitutional text, the truth lies elsewhere. In his autobiography, Justice William O. Douglas provided a glimpse behind the curtain as to how the Supreme Court really works. In his autobiography, he explained that Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes had once explained to him: “[a]t the constitutional level where we work, ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.”

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