Baker Jack Phillips -- A Cultural Hero
Colorado baker Jack Phillips is a perpetual offender. He simply will not do. His offense? Unswervingly honoring his deeply held, and constitutionally protected, religious beliefs.
We've all heard of Phillips and his travails. Leftist bullies have been tormenting him for years, beginning in 2012, when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission targeted him for refusing to make a custom-designed cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.
After several setbacks in various tribunals, Phillips was finally vindicated in a 7-to-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling holding that the state of Colorado had shown "clear and impermissible hostility" toward Phillips' religious convictions in violation of his First Amendment rights.
If there's one thing as certain as death and taxes, it's that the left is indefatigable and heartless. They make it personal when you don't bend to their wishes. It was personal against Phillips -- and they made an example of him.
So, the state persisted, as if neither embarrassed nor chastened by the court's decision. The left didn't take a breath. Within weeks of the court's ruling, it targeted Phillips again for a different but strikingly similar sin: refusing to build a custom cake celebrating a gender transition.
Specifically, attorney Autumn Scardina had requested that Phillips make a cake blue on the outside and pink on the inside to symbolize the transition from male to female. Just as with the same-sex-wedding cake, Phillips declined, explaining it would violate his religious beliefs to do so.
Phillips finally had enough. He filed a federal lawsuit against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for pursuing him again, based on Scardina's complaint. In the process, Phillips marshaled evidence that the state was engaging in anti-religious hostility, leading Colorado officials to back down.
Scardina let the appeals deadline pass but craftily filed a civil lawsuit against Phillips. Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips' public-interest law firm, filed a motion to dismiss what should have been deemed a frivolous case. But to leftist activist judges, frivolous often means meritorious. They view themselves as superlegislators not bound by the separation of powers doctrine or limited by their proper judicial function.
The court allowed the case to proceed and it went to trial on March 22, 2021. Just this week, the judge ruled that in refusing to make the cake celebrating a gender transition, Phillips violated the law. Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones cavalierly refused to take Phillips at his word -- that he declined because making the cake would have violated his religious beliefs. Jones said the case involved Phillips' refusal to sell a product, not compelling speech.
"The anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as others," said Jones.