Supreme Court will hear Colorado gay wedding cake case – The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it would review the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of his beliefs — a legal fight with high stakes for both religious activists and civil-rights advocates.

For months, the high court has vacillated on whether it would hear the appeal of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, whose refusal of service to Charlie Craig and David Mullins was rejected by the Colorado Court of Appeals and the state’s Civil Rights Commission.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake ...

Lindsay Pierce, The Denver Post

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake in Lakewood, decorates a birthday cake Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012.

There’s been one significant change to the Supreme Court, however, since the case first landed on its steps — the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch, a native Coloradan who became its ninth member this spring after his nomination by President Donald Trump.

Prior to his appointment, Gorsuch earned a reputation as a jurist on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals who gave wide latitude to religious beliefs. Now he’ll get a chance to help decide a case from his home state with major implications for the nation’s legal system.

The outcome “could have substantial effect around the country, depending on how the court rules,” said Carl Tobias, a court analyst and professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

In particular, Tobias said, it’s almost certain to impact the ability of same-sex couples to seek so-called “expressive” services provided by people such as florists or bakers.

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