- Jack Phillips talking to reporters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court In Washington, D.C. on Dec. 5, 2017.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, Phillips’ attorneys filed a new lawsuit against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Civil Rights Division Director Aubrey Elenis and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. He claims, once more, that his religious beliefs have been violated.
In this case, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission once again found “probable cause” that Phillips had discriminated against a customer — this time a transgender woman named Autumn Scardina. Scardina requested a cake celebrating the seven-year anniversary of her transition, and Phillips refused to bake it.
Phillips, owner of Lakewood-based Masterpiece Cakeshop, won his Supreme Court case in June, but the narrow decision related specifically to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of the case. In no way did the opinion of the court state that he could lawfully continue to discriminate against people based on his religious beliefs.
It seems he didn’t quite get that memo.
In part, the lawsuit reads: “For over six years now, Colorado has been on a crusade to crush Plaintiff Jack Phillips (“Phillips”) because its officials despise what he believes and how he practices his faith. After Phillips defended himself all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won, he thought Colorado’s hostility toward his faith was over. He was wrong. Colorado has renewed its war against him by embarking on another attempt to prosecute him, in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in his favor.”
Ironically, the Commission even cited part of the U.S. Supreme Court decision when it decided that Scardina’s discrimination claim had merit. They, at least, seem to believe that the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court does not invalidate the facts of this new case.
It’s too early to tell if this case will also work its way up the judicial ladder.