Barronelle Stutzman deserved her day in court
Across the country, Christians are being deliberately targeted by left-wing activists who would like nothing more than to see them punished for daring to believe in values different from those of the left. And the Supreme Court lets it go.
Last week, the court refused to hear an appeal from a Christian florist who was sued for refusing to make a flower arrangement for a same-sex marriage. Like Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who won his Supreme Court case in 2018 but continues to face prosecution, Barronelle Stutzman argued that being forced to create property to celebrate a ceremony that violated her beliefs religious order was unconstitutional. But Washington state still fined him $ 1,000, and the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling.
The reason the Stutzman case was so important is that it gave the Supreme Court another chance to resolve many of the questions it refused to answer when Phillips appeared in court. The court ruled in his favor 7-2 but very narrowly. The judges focused on the process by which Colorado tried to coerce Phillips into baking a cake for a same-sex marriage, arguing that the state’s Civil Rights Commission exhibited “anti-religious bias” in the way she had treated him. But the court avoided the central question of the Phillips case: Can the government force creative professionals to create personalized works of art that express messages that violate their religious beliefs?
In other words, the court ruling left open the question of whether Colorado could have forced Phillips to bake a cake to celebrate a marriage that violated his religious beliefs if he had only concealed his hostility and enforced its laws of neutral way. And as a result, Phillips’ right to operate his business according to his religious beliefs is no better off than when he was first sued. He continues to face trial after trial from leftists keen to set an example for him, and there’s a good chance he’ll end up in Supreme Court again before all is said and done.
Stutzman’s case was a chance for the Supreme Court to right this wrong, to directly address the issues it had once avoided before, and to ensure that clerics can freely exercise their rights without fear of being dragged into court. law courts. Unfortunately, he chose not to and the country will be worse off for it.