The Trump administration has petitioned the Supreme Court to allow it to argue against anti-discrimination laws in a case involving an anti-gay baker, the Washington Times is reporting.
In 2012, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception. The couple sued under Colorado’s anti-discrimination law and won the case at the state-level, but the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear the case earlier this year.
Last month, the Department of Justice filed a brief that sided with Phillips and argued that states do not have the same interest in fighting anti-gay discrimination that they have fighting racial discrimination. Now the Solicitor General has petitioned for time to argue the case in front of the Supreme Court.
“As a general matter, the United States has a substantial interest in the preservation of federal constitutional rights of free expression,” solicitor general Noel Francisco wrote in a motion.
The Supreme Court is expected to grant the Trump administration’s request to argue the case. If it does, then Francisco will get ten minutes before the court on December 5, and Phillips’s attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom will still be allotted their twenty minutes.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.
The couple’s side will be argued by the ACLU, which filed a brief this week that argued that Colorado’s anti-discrimination law does not threaten free expression rights. “This case involves the straightforward application of a standard public accommodation law,” the ACLU wrote.
The ACLU said that Phillips had no objection to the cake that the couple was requesting; he just refused to sell them any product that would be used to celebrate their marriage.
“If a business needs to know who the product is for in order to decide whether or not to sell it, the business is discriminating on the basis of identity, not making a decision about any ‘message’ inherent in the product itself.”