Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice told the Supreme Court that a Colorado bakery has a constitutional right to refuse to sell a cake to a same-sex couple for their wedding. You read that right – the Trump administration thinks there’s a constitutional right to discriminate.
The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.
Here’s a rundown on what happened:
Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.
The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will hear an appeal in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of a Colorado baker who claimed his religious beliefs justified his refusal to serve same-sex couples.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the high court should use the case to make it clear that religious-freedom claims don’t override antidiscrimination laws.
Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.
A Colorado graphic designer filed a federal lawsuit Sept. 20 challenging Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws that would prevent her from refusing to serve same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs – even though no same-sex couples have tried to hire her.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Lorie Smith and her studio, 303 Creative, against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Aubrey Elenis, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Yesterday Americans United asked a federal court in Colorado to dismiss an attempt by a pro-voucher group to circumvent the Colorado Supreme Court by filing a case in federal court. The plaintiffs are a group of Douglas County parents who argue that the district’s voucher plan, which applies only to secular schools, as mandated by the Colorado Supreme Court, violates the U.S. Constitution. But if you are thinking that this isn’t our first time addressing this issue in Colorado, you are right.