Home Headline News Government Trump’s DOJ Gets Involved in Supreme Court Religious Freedom Battle By Constitution.com

Trump’s DOJ Gets Involved in Supreme Court Religious Freedom Battle By Constitution.com

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

The Trump administration weighed into one of the marquee cases of the coming Supreme Court term Thursday, backing a Christian baker in a dispute over public accommodations laws and religious liberty.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus (or “friend-of-the-court”) brief supporting a Christian baker in Colorado who declined to create a wedding cake with a pro-LGBT message for a gay couple planning their nuptials. The baker, Jack Phillips, was sanctioned by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for violating the state’s public accommodations law, which prohibits discrimination against certain protected classes in commercial transactions. The Justice Department argues the state is coercing Phillips into creating expression with which he disagrees, in violation of the First Amendment.

“The Department filed an amicus brief in this case today because the First Amendment protects the right of free expression for all Americans,” Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam said in a statement. “Although public-accommodations laws serve important purposes, they—like other laws—must yield to the individual freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees. That includes the freedom not to create expression for ceremonies that violate one’s religious beliefs.”

The administration’s filing came on the same day that over 80 congressional Republicans filed their own amicus brief in support of Phillips.

In the brief, the Department says that the high court has consistently ruled in favor of free expression where speech and general laws regulating conduct collide, and that requiring Phillips to create such expression intrudes upon his First Amendment rights.

“A custom wedding cake is a form of expression, whether pure speech or the product of expressive conduct,” the brief reads. “It is an artistic creation that is both subjectively intended and objectively perceived as a celebratory symbol of a marriage.”

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