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[BRIEFING] Free Speech Takes the Cake: Can States Compel Speech?

  • The Heritage Foundation 214 Massachusetts Avenue Northeast Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)

Jack Phillips, a baker in Colorado, declined to design a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and an administrative law judge found he had engaged in sexual-orientation discrimination for seeking to run his business in accordance with his religious beliefs. This lengthy legal battle culminated in the Supreme Court taking up the case. Jack maintains that forcing him to design custom cakes for same-sex weddings violates his free speech and free exercise rights under the First Amendment. Now, the justices will decide whether states can compel business owners – like Jack – to create speech that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. The day after the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, join us for a discussion with the lawyer who argued the case on behalf of Jack Phillips, and two lawyers who filed amicus briefs supporting his position.