Even after a 7–2 Supreme Court decision protecting Colorado custom baker Jack Phillips from overt religious discrimination, the state is doubling down. It’s participating in and empowering a grotesque campaign of discrimination and harassment that should shock the conscience of every sensible American (there are still some out there).
The Christian baker who fought in the Supreme Court to preserve his right to refuse to make cakes for same-sex weddings says he is now the target of harassment by Colorado and some of its residents, who have made a crusade out of trying to force him to bake cakes offensive to him.
On June 26, 2017 — the very day the Supreme Court granted Jack’s request to review his wedding-cake case — a lawyer named Autumn Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop and “asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to create a custom cake with ‘a blue exterior and a pink interior’ — a cake ‘design’ that, according to the lawyer,” reflected “the fact that [the lawyer] transitioned from male-to-female and that [the lawyer] had come out as transgender.”
Lest anyone wonder whether this request was made in good faith, consider that this same person apparently made a number of requests to Masterpiece Cakeshop. On the very day that Phillips won his case at the Supreme Court, this same individual--a lawyer named Autumn Scardina--demanded in an email that Jack Phillips bake a cake for Satan, complete with a working sex toy.
In September 2017, a caller asked Phillips to design a birthday cake for Satan that would feature an image of Satan smoking marijuana. The name “Scardina” appeared on the caller identification. A few days earlier, a person had emailed Jack asking for a cake with a similar theme — except featuring “an upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” This same emailer reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.”
Just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that Colorado bungled its case against Mr. Phillips over the same-sex wedding cake and found the state showed “hostility” to his religious beliefs, the state’s Civil Rights Commission slapped him with a judgment over the transgender cake.
Rather than recognizing Scardina’s conduct as nothing more than a bad-faith campaign of harassment, Aubrey Elenis, the director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, found on June 28 “probable cause” to believe that Phillips violated Scardina’s civil rights when he refused Scardina’s bad-faith request to design a cake celebrating Scardina’s “transition.”
With its probable-cause finding, the Colorado Civil Rights Division demonstrates it’s as foolish as it is malicious. It has just launched yet another legal campaign against Phillips based on nothing more than a bad-faith complaint from an angry troll. It hasn’t cured its devotion to double standards. And by seeking to punish Phillips when the expressive message of the proposed cake is crystal clear, the Division has only strengthened his First Amendment claim.
Philips said the state crossed the line into harassment and sued Tuesday in federal court, asking a judge to order it to leave him alone.
“For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush plaintiff Jack Phillips … because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith,” his attorneys say in the lawsuit.
Evil, apparently, never tires.