Colorado Flower Shop News
Florist Asks To Join Baker In High Court Gay Marriage Row - Law360 - Law360 (subscription)Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The petition asks the justices to hear this case with Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a petition the court accepted after its last conference in June. The justices had put off a decision on that petition 18 times, with some speculating that the justices were waiting on the instant cert petition to be filed. Both cases were filed by the same attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom.The already-accepted case deals with whether a Colorado-based baker had the right to refuse to make a same-sex couple’s wedding cake. The Colorado Court of Appeals found that he didn’t, but like Stutzman, the baker claims his work is art protected under the First Amendment.Stutzman’s cert petition argues that flower arrangement has long been considered art, saying it’s “one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement.” She said it wouldn’t make sense for a Van Gogh painting of flowers to be considered art but the flower arrangement itself to not be.The florist had told her customers, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, that they were welcome to use pre-arranged flowers made by her or raw materials she supplied at the wedding, but that she couldn’t be more involved, according to the petition. For a full wedding service, Stutzman would have had to attend the wedding to help keep the arrangements “pristine” and help clean up.“Barronelle simply could not reconcile her faith with celebrating and participating in a same-sex wedding,” the petition states.The Washington Supreme Court’s ruling, which was strongly in favor of the arguments of the state and American Civil Liberties Union, went against several federal court precedents, she argued. For example, the Second, Sixth, Ninth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits have found that “visual art” is protected by the First Amendment and the Second, Ninth and Tenth Circuits found that a pure-speech analysis needs to be conducted in such a case, according to the florist.Representatives for the couple and the state ...
Reason Foundation Supports Florists, Bakers in Gay Wedding Case Before Supreme Court - Reason (blog)Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Reason magazine), the Cato Institute, and the Individual Rights Foundation.The Supreme Court agreed in June to hear the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Lakewood, Colorado, bakery whose owner, Jack Phillips, declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple due to his objections to same-sex marriage. The state ruled Phillips violated the state's public accommodation laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.Meanwhile, Baronnelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers, in Richland, Washington, has faced similar government sanction for refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding. Stutzman is standing on her religious opposition to same-sex marriage in her petition to the Supreme Court.The Reason Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the Individual Rights Foundation brief encourages the court to consolidate the Stutzman and Masterpiece Bakeshop cases. Considering the cases together would "provide the Court with a more extensive factual record on which to base a decision, as well as help clarify the applicability of the ultimate decision's holding," the brief says.Essentially, they want the Supreme Court to determine whether flower arrangement is also a form of expressive activity and possibly protected free speech. As it stands, the Supreme Court could issue a ruling narrow enough to cover only wedding cakes.The brief presents two arguments to encourage the court to decide on behalf of the bakery and the florist. First, arranging flowers or baking a wedding cake is artistic expression... http://reason.com/blog/2017/08/16/reason-foundation-supports-florists-bake
Neither Florists Nor Bakers Should Be Forced to Participate in Same-Sex Weddings - Cato Institute (blog)Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Reason Foundation and Individual Rights Foundation, has filed an amicus brief urging the Court to take up the case and consolidate it with Masterpiece Cakeshop, the case of the similarly situated Colorado baker that the Court has already agreed to hear.Although floristry may not initially appear to be speech to some, it’s a form of artistic expression that’s constitutionally protected. There are numerous floristry schools throughout the world that teach students how to express themselves through their work, and even the Arts Council of Great Britain has recognized the significance of the Royal Horticultural Society’s library, which documents the history, art, and writing of gardening. The Supreme Court has long recognized that the First Amendment protects artistic as well as verbal expression, and that protection should likewise extend to floristry—even if it’s not ideological and even if it’s done for commercial purposes.The Court declared more than 70 years ago that “[i]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” W.Va. Board of Education v. Barnette (1943). And the Court ruled in Wooley v. Maynard—the 1977 “Live Free or Die” license-plate case out of New Hampshire—that forcing people to speak is just as unconstitutional as preventing or censoring speech. The First Amendment “includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all” and the Supreme Court has never held that the compelled-speech doctrine is only applicable when an individual is forced to serve as a courier for the message of another (as in Wooley).Instead, the justices have said repeatedly that what the First Amendment protects is a “freedom of the individual mind,” which the government violates whenever it tells a person what she must or must not say. Forcing a florist to create a unique piece of art violates that freedom of mind. Moreover, unlike true cases of public accommodation, there are abundant opportunities to choose other florists in the same area.Finally, granting First Amendment protection to florists would not mean that public-accommodation laws could provide no protection to same-sex couples. The First Amendment protects expression, which should include floristry but would not include many other business...
Washington florist seeks OK from Supreme Court to refuse service to ... - Washington BladeTuesday, August 01, 2017
If justices agree to review the decision against Stutzman, they would heard the case at the same time they’re considering a lawsuit filed by Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, which is asserting a right to deny services to same-sex couples based on religious objections. Alliance Defending Freedom is the counsel to the plaintiffs in both cases.The petition itself asks the Supreme Court to consider both cases simultaneously, or at least hold the Arlene’s Flower’s petition until a decision is handed down in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.“Reviewing the two cases together would aid this Court in deciding the important First Amendment questions presented,” the petition says. “The record in this case is particularly well developed and comprehensive, including numerous depositions and declarations, as well as expert testimony. Such exhaustive evidence will facilitate the Court’s “independent examination of the record as a whole” to determine whether artistic expression, like Barronelle’s custom floral designs, are ‘protected speech.'”... http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/07/14/wash-florist-seeks-ok-supreme-court-refuse-service-gays/
Florist Who Turned Away Gay Couple Wants Supreme Court To Hear Her Case - HuffPostTuesday, August 01, 2017
The florist, who is a Southern Baptist, has argued that arranging flowers is artistic expression protected under the First Amendment. She’s hoping to have her case consolidated with that of Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who cited his religious faith in his decision to turn away Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who were seeking a cake for their 2012 wedding.“Not only does her case and Jack Phillips’ case involve similar issues,” Waggoner said in a statement cited by Metro-Weekly, “but both Barronelle and Jack face burdensome penalties for simply exercising their right of free expression.” The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Phillips’ case, which is also being handled by the Alliance Defending Freedom, this fall. Catch the latest in LGBTQ news by subscribing to the Queer Voices newsletter. ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barronelle-stutzman-supreme-court_us_596d1637e4b0e983c0584023