74. Kim Colby on the Masterpiece Cakeshop Oral Argument

One of the biggest free speech and religious liberty cases in decades, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on December 5. On December 6, Cross & Gavel host Mike Schutt recorded this conversation with religious liberty attorney Kim Colby, who sat in on the argument. Kim gives a short background of the case, shares her observations, and discusses the important issues raised by the attorneys and justices. 

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, did not deny service to homosexuals, as is sometimes reported. Jack served anyone who came into his shop to buy his ready-made cakes and cookies. Yet when he was asked to use his artistic talents to design a custom cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, he politely declined. Jack declines to bake custom cakes for Halloween celebrations or divorce parties as well. He simply does not provide his artistic voice in support of things with which he fundamentally disagrees. 

Is this unlawful discrimination, or is this his right as a shop owner with religious convictions? 

Listen to Kim and Mike discuss the issues and the interesting questions asked by the justices during oral argument. 

Read the transcript of the argument here

Read the CLS Brief in support of Jack Phillips here

Kim Colby is the director of Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom , where she has worked since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1981. She has represented religious groups in several appellate cases, including two cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has filed numerous amicus briefs in federal and state courts. In 1984, she assisted in congressional passage of the Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. § 4071, et seq., which protects the right of secondary school students to meet for prayer and Bible study on campus. Ms. Colby has prepared several CLS publications addressing issues about religious expression in public schools, including released time programs, implementation of the Equal Access Act, and teachers’ religious expression.

Kim graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois with a major in American History and a particular interest in slavery in colonial North America.

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