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Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop

Description:  The same attorney who filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017 commenced a lawsuit in state court over the same custom cake request the attorney made at that time. The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition. Phillips’ shop declined that request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ religious beliefs. The decision was not because of the person who requested it, as Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.


ADF: Court should end latest harassment of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner over his beliefs

Media briefing will follow oral arguments in state court Thursday
Wednesday, Apr 8, 2020

WHO: Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, ADF Legal Counsel Jake Warner

WHAT: Media briefing following oral arguments in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop

WHEN: Thursday, April 9, 2 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. EDT)

WHERE: Online, or call (425) 440-5100. Conference PIN: 356719#

 
DENVER – Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips will join Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys on a media briefing call following oral arguments in state trial court Thursday in Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. The hearing concerns a motion ADF attorneys filed last year asking the court to dismiss the latest legal attack against Phillips and his shop for declining to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his faith.

The same attorney who filed an unsuccessful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in 2017 commenced the lawsuit over the same custom cake request. The commission filed charges against Phillips but abandoned the claim in the wake of more evidence of the state’s hostility toward religious freedom—hostility that the U.S. Supreme Court had first condemned in a separate lawsuit that began years earlier but that Phillips won in 2018. Instead of appealing the commission’s decision to drop its action on the 2017 complaint, the attorney filed a new lawsuit in state court that seeks monetary damages of more than $100,000 against Phillips in addition to legal fees.

“It’s time to move on and leave Jack alone. This new lawsuit is nothing more than an activist’s attempt to harass and ruin Jack because he won’t create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his conscience,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner, who argued on behalf of Phillips before the U.S. Supreme Court. “Jack’s victory at the Supreme Court was great news for everyone. Tolerance for good-faith differences of opinion is essential and the only way for diverse people with differing views to peacefully coexist.”

“This attorney’s relentless pursuit of Jack was an obvious attempt to punish him for his views, banish him from the marketplace, and financially ruin him and his shop,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jake Warner, who will argue before the state court Thursday. “For these reasons and others, we are asking the court to dismiss this case.”

The request was for a custom-designed cake, pink on the inside and blue on the outside, to reflect and celebrate a gender transition. Phillips’ shop declined that request because the customer specifically requested that the cake express messages and celebrate an event in conflict with Phillips’ religious beliefs. The decision was not because of the person who requested it. Phillips would not create a cake expressing the requested message no matter who asked for it.

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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Civil case cover sheet: Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
Complaint: Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
Motion to dismiss: Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop
Order on motion to dismiss: Scardina v. Masterpiece Cakeshop

Related Resources

Photos: Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop

ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as general counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 100 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. ADF has represented the prevailing parties in multiple U.S. Supreme Court victories, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which she argued. Waggoner continues as lead counsel in Arlene's Flowers v. State of Washington, which the Supreme Court remanded to the Washington Supreme Court. She will argue Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski at the High Court in the 2020-21 term. 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. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.

ABOUT Jake Warner
Jake Warner serves as legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Since joining ADF in 2017, Warner has focused on protecting the conscience rights of individuals being unjustly forced to compromise their beliefs under threat of heavy fines and punishment. His practice also includes defending the freedom of Christians to exercise their faith in the marketplace without government interference. Prior to joining ADF, Warner served as a judicial law clerk to Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Before his clerkship, Warner also engaged in private practice with the firm of Perry, Perry & Perry, in Kinston, North Carolina, where he primarily represented criminal defendants in both federal and state courts. Warner earned his J.D. at the Regent University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2011. He obtained his B.A. in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006. Warner is admitted to practice in Arizona, North Carolina, and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as several federal district and appellate courts.