Supreme Court won't take up florist case

26 June, 2018, 17:44 | Author: Christina Harvey
  • Barronelle Stutzman center a Richland Wash. florist who was fined for denying service to a gay couple in 2013 smiles as she is surrounded by supporters Nov. 15 2016 in Bellevue Wash

Gay couple Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed made a decision to sue Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, when she refused to provide flowers for their 2013 wedding.

On June 4, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Evangelical Christian wedding baker in Colorado who declined to custom-design a wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding. The owner, Barronelle Stutzman, had regularly provided flowers for the couple, but refused to arrange flowers for their wedding. It did not address generally whether businesses can decline services to same-sex weddings because of religious beliefs. In delivering the court's opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said states are well within their power to enact anti-discrimination measures in public accommodations laws, but laws must be fairly enforced.

Stutzman in 2013 refused to provide the arrangements to Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, who were getting married after the state legalized same-sex marriage the prior year.

The Supreme Court justices' limited ruling in turned on what the court described as anti-religious bias on that commission when it ruled against Colorado baker Jack Phillips.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson doesn't believe the ruling will change.




But Stutzman's attorney, Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel at the religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, said the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision should prompt an overturning of Stutzman's case.

In November 2016, the state Supreme Court ruled that Stutzman's refusal to provide flowers for the wedding did not qualify as free speech. "I view this as a profound miscarriage of justice", Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner wrote in her dissent. Republican lawmakers told the Supreme Court the ruling "would effectively transfer the redistricting authority away from the state legislatures and to the federal courts in ways that are antithetical to constitutional text and two centuries of experience".

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with American Express Co., ruling that the company's policy of forbidding merchants from encouraging customers to use rival credit cards with lower fees does not violate federal antitrust law.

The nation's highest court on Monday announced it will not take up the case of Brendan Dassey, a central figure in the Netflix series that suggests he was wrongfully convicted for murder when he was a teen. She said Dassey was "confused" and "manipulated' when he gave the confession that helped bring his conviction".

In a statement earlier this month, Stutzman said that she serves all customers, but can not create products for events that conflict with her deeply held religious beliefs.

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