U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Dec. 5 in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 

The case involves Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who was punished by the Colorado Human Rights Commission for declining to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony.

The Commission ruled that Phillips violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law. Phillips counters that the state has violated his right of free speech and freedom of religion.

The Supreme Court extended its session in order to give both sides more time than usual to argue the case. Early analysis by legal experts said the Court may be leaning toward ruling in favor of Phillips, as Justice Anthony Kennedy—often the swing vote on the Court—stated that while tolerance is essential in a free society, Colorado has not shown tolerance toward Phillips.

A decision is expected by summer.