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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Description:  Two men filed a complaint with the state of Colorado after they asked cake artist Jack Phillips to design a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Monday, Sep 10, 2018
WHO:  Legal experts, analysts, and attorneys who have argued before the U.S. Supreme Court

WHAT:  “American Culture on Appeal” symposium series: “Courts and Culture: Landmark Cases and a Supreme Court Preview

WHEN:  Tuesday, Sept. 18, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT

WHERE:  Jones Day, Seventh Floor, 300 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington (two blocks from the Capitol Building) or watch live streaming video


Admission is free and lunch will be provided. Doors open at noon. Space is limited, so please RSVP.

Join the solicitor general of Texas and Supreme Court experts from Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC for a two-panel discussion that will examine the recent Supreme Court term’s landmark decisions impacting free speech and religious liberty, and what the court’s treatment of these constitutionally protected freedoms signal as we move into the 2018 term.

The first panel of this “Constitution Day” event will feature a review of the free speech and religious liberty implications of the court’s decisions in the 2017 Supreme Court term, including a focus on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. The second panel will forecast the future of the Supreme Court and review the cases likely to shape application of the Establishment Clause related to war memorials and public prayer. Bloomberg News Supreme Court Correspondent Greg Stohr and SCOTUSblog co-founder Amy Howe will moderate the discussions, which will conclude with time for audience Q&A with the panelists.

Panel I: ADF Vice President of Appellate Advocacy and Senior Counsel John Bursch, Professor at Penn Law School Amanda Shanor, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, Bloomberg News Supreme Court Correspondent Greg Stohr (moderator).

Panel II: ADF Vice President of U.S. Litigation and Senior Counsel David Cortman, Americans United for Separation of Church and State Associate Legal Director Alex Luchenitser, Partner at Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC Jeffrey M. Harris, SCOTUSblog co-founder Amy Howe (moderator).

Questions? Contact ADF External Relations Director Rebecca Sears at [email protected].

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Featured Coverage

  • William McGurn: The Christian baker who said ‘no’ (Wall Street Journal, 2021-03-22)
  • Adam Liptak: Cake is his ‘art.’ So can he deny one to a gay couple? (New York Times, 2017-09-16)


Previous News Releases

Legal Documents

U.S. Supreme Court opinion: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
U.S. Supreme Court oral argument audio and transcript: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Reply brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Opening brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Amicus briefs filed with U.S. Supreme Court: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Petition for writ of certiorari: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Cert denial from Colorado Supreme Court: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig
Colorado Court of Appeals opinion: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig
Reply brief filed with Colorado Court of Appeals: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig
Notice of appeal to Colorado Court of Appeals: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig
Final agency order: Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
Administrative law court decision: Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
Summary judgment brief: Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop

Related Resources

Photos: Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop

ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

As the CEO, president, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristen Waggoner leads the faith-based legal organization in protecting fundamental freedoms and promoting the inherent dignity of all people throughout the U.S. and around the world. Waggoner oversees the efforts of more than 400 ADF team members in seven global offices as well as nearly 5,000 network attorneys engaged in litigation, legislation, training, funding, and public advocacy. ADF also provides legal counsel to over 3,500 churches and ministries through its Ministry Alliance program and defends the persecuted church in dozens of countries. Since 2011, ADF has won 15 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, including serving on Mississippi’s legal team in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade. Waggoner successfully argued three of those cases: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights CommissionUzuebgunam v. Presczewski, and 303 Creative v. Elenis. She is a Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ attorney in Martindale-Hubbell, who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years.

ABOUT John Bursch

John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

ABOUT David Cortman

David A. Cortman serves as senior counsel and vice president of U.S. litigation with Alliance Defending Freedom. He has been practicing law since 1996, and currently supervises a team of over 40 attorneys and legal staff who specialize in constitutional law, focusing on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Cortman has litigated hundreds of constitutional law cases including two victories at the U.S. Supreme Court. In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, he secured a 7-2 victory that overturned Missouri’s denial of a religious school’s participation in a state funding program. Cortman also argued Reed v. Town of Gilbert, securing a 9-0 ruling that prohibits the government from discriminating against religious speech. A member of the bar in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and the District of Columbia, he is also admitted to practice in over two dozen federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Cortman obtained his J.D. magna cum laude from Regent University School of Law.