Colorado Baker Stands His Ground, Now State Is Calling A Truce

Christian baker Jack Phillips has successfully stood up to the state of Colorado and the two sides are now agreeing to drop their respective legal cases.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced the joint decision on Tuesday afternoon where he said he will withdraw an anti-discrimination probe of Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop if Phillips in return will drop allegations of harassment by state officials, the Daily Caller reports.

“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases,” Weiser said, per the Daily Caller. “The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them.”

Here’s more on the case, from the Daily Caller:

The Supreme Court found that the Commission’s first action against Phillips was infected with anti-religious animus. The June 2018 judgment was 7-2. The case arose when Phillips refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.

The Court did not decide whether business owners can claim a religious exemption to public accommodations laws, a provocative question that remains unresolved.

The state issued a second probable cause finding against Phillips three weeks after the high court’s ruling. In that instance, a prospective customer called Autumn Scardina filed a complaint after Phillips declined to create a cake celebrating a gender transition, consistent with his beliefs about the immutability of sex.

Phillips believes Scardina made other requests for custom baked goods, including cakes featuring dildos and images of the occult.

In turn, Phillips sued nine state officials, alleging a number of constitutional violations. His lawsuit argued the CCRC was enabling harassment of his business by pursuing complaints from possible bad faith actors.

As the Daily Wire reports, the Alliance Defending Freedom announced the Colorado Civil Rights Commission agreed to drop the charges against Phillips.

And:

“We’re pleased that the state will be dismissing its case against Jack,” said ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner, who represented Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. “This is the second time the state has launched a failed effort to prosecute him. While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six-and-a-half years of his life, forcing him to spend that time tied up in legal proceedings.”

“Jack’s victory is great news for everyone. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to peacefully coexist with each another. But the state’s demonstrated and ongoing hostility toward Jack because of his beliefs is undeniable,” noted Waggoner.