Courts, Politics, States

Supreme Court Defends Christian Florist

The cake debate may have garnered more high profile headlines, but the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a Washington state court cannot in fact force Arlene’s Flowers, a Christian florist company, to arrange wedding flowers for a gay couple despite their being her customers for more than a decade. The Washington state court is now forced to reconsider its initial ruling against freedom of religion. Even better for predicting the fate of rulings in similar cases down the road, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n was used as a precedent.

Here’s more from Daily Wire…

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that a Washington state court would have to reconsider its ruling against a florist who served a gay couple for over ten years but would not do their wedding flowers. The Supreme Court’s decision was catalyzed by their ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in which they ruled for Colorado baker Jack Phillips.

The Court stated vis-à-vis Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, “The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Washington for further consideration in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n.”

The Arlene’s Flowers case revolved around whether the creation and sale of custom floral arrangements to celebrate a wedding ceremony was considered artistic expression, and if it was, whether compelling the florist to create a wedding cake that violated her religious beliefs violated the free speech clause and the free exercise clause. The case was brought after Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington state florist, refused to provide original flower arrangements to a same-sex couple for their wedding after having served one of the men for roughly ten years. The state courts rejected her argument that requiring her to design floral arrangements for same-sex weddings would violate her First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of her religion; that triggered Stutzman to ask the Supreme Court to review the state courts’ decision.

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