‘Does A Wedding Cake Constitute First Amendment Protection?: Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission’

Do service providers have right to refuse to serve? In this particular case, does a baker have right to say no to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based upon his religious beliefs? In this session of Model CJ, Supreme Court of the United States will render the final judgement.

Charlie Craig and David Mullins, the Plaintiffs, attempted to buy a wedding cake to celebrate their marriage. The Defendants, Masterpiece Cakeshop and the owner of the shop Jack Phillips, refused to sell a wedding cake to the Plaintiffs because they did not support same-sex marriage. Consequently, the Plaintiffs brought the present action, alleging that the Defendants had unlawfully discriminated against them in violation of Colorado state law.

An Administrative Law Judge, on summary judgment, ruled in favour of the Plaintiffs, ordering Masterpiece Cakeshop to cease-and-desist its refusal to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples. This was appealed to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which affirmed the decision of the Administrative Law Judge. The Defendants appealed the Commission’s order. He argued that creating a wedding cake for the same-sex couple conflicts with his sincerely held religious beliefs, moreover compelling him to design a wedding cake violates the First Amendment’s free speech and free exercise protections. The Commission’s order affirmed previous determinations that Masterpiece’s refusal to sell Mullins and Craig a wedding cake constituted discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in violation of Colorado law. Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. Subsequently, Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case and Supreme Court of the United States granted the request for certiorari.

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