Case:  Masterpiece
Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

 

Brief Summary:  This is a pending, open case in the United States
Supreme Court involving Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a same-sex couple from
Colorado, whose order for a custom-made wedding cake was denied by Jack
Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop and a devout Christian who did not
believe in same-sex marriage.  Mr. Craig
and Mr. Mullins then filed charges against Mr. Phillips on the grounds of discrimination
under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).  The initial lawsuit, Craig v. Masterpiece
Cakeshop, resulted in a ruling favoring the plaintiffs.  After the decision was upheld on appeal, the
case was brought to the Supreme Court. 
With supporters coming from all sides, including the American Civil
Liberties Union, Alliance Defending Freedom, and even an opinion from the Trump
Administration, this is a case whose outcome has enormous implications for gay
rights, religious liberty, and future anti-discrimination lawsuits.

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Issue:  Though Colorado’s Discrimination in Places of
Public Accommodation law forbids businesses from denying services to persons of
a protected class based on their sexual orientation, the issue in this case is
whether or not requiring a business owner to produce an artistic work that goes
against his religious beliefs is in violation of the First Amendment’s Free
Speech Clause and/or the Free Exercise Clause.

 

Discussion:  I chose this particular case because it is
current and widely talked about, with opposing sides arguing with what I feel are
completely valid, logical arguments.  I
feel both parties are having some aspect of their rights impinged upon, no
matter how one looks at it.  What is the
meaning of religious freedom if, Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop,
is forced by law to do something against his beliefs?  At the same time, it is wrong and, in my
opinion, poor business practice, to discriminate against certain people based
on their sexual orientation, to the extent that the business would rather
refuse services and profits than serve a same-sex couple.  It truly is a controversial topic, and I look
forward to exploring this case further in order to form a more definitive
opinion on the matter.

 

 

Working
Outline:

 

       
I.           
Introduction

A.     
Brief Overview of
Paper

B.     
Thesis Statement

     
II.           
Body

A.     
Detailed Summary
of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil
Rights Commission

B.     
Laws and Statutes
Related to Case

                                                           
1.     
Colorado Revised
Statutes 24-34-601 (Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation)

                                                           
2.     
Freedom of Speech
Clause of the First Amendment

                                                           
3.     
Free Exercise
Clause of the First Amendment

C.     
Relation to Business
Law Topics Studied in Class

                                                           
1.     
Legal Terms and
Definitions Per Textbooks

D.    
Related and
Similar Cases

E.     
Personal
Commentary and Opinion

F.      
Implications of Outcome

   
III.           
Conclusion

A.     
Summary of Points
Discussed

B.     
Closing Remarks

x

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