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Supreme Court won’t take up ‘Making a Murderer’ case

26 June 2018

The case of Arlene's Flowers was similar in that its owner, Barronelle Stutzman, denied services to Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed for flower arrangements for their wedding.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Supreme Court ruled that Colorado's Civil Rights Commission violated the free exercise rights of a Christian baker Jack Phillips by showing hostility to his explained religious reasons for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled past year that the government may force Christians to serve same-sex "weddings", and in July 2017, the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

In that case, a baker refused to design and create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple - arguing it opposed his religious beliefs. Stutzman had counted Robert Ingersoll as a customer for almost a decade when he came in one day in 2013 and said he wanted to talk about flowers for his wedding to his longtime companion, Curt Freed.

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In that case, the high court simply ruled on his behalf because the Colorado commission's treatment of Phillips "showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the honest religious beliefs motivating his objection".

"Washington Attorney General Ferguson's efforts to punish Barronelle because he disagrees with her beliefs about marriage are as hostile and unconstitutional as Colorado's attempt to punish Jack for his faith", he said.

The state of Washington, acting through its attorney general, has shown similar hostility, she said.

Despite the lack of clarity on the key legal questions, the Supreme Court has still tasked the lower court with taking cues from that decision to rehear Stutzman's complaint. "No one should have to experience that, and we're hopeful the Washington courts will again recognize that this case is clearly about discrimination, which has no place in the public marketplace or in our Constitution".

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Supreme Court on Monday sent a pair of high-profile cases - one in which a florist refused to cater a same-sex wedding and one on redrawing political districts in North Carolina - back to lower courts. The Supreme Court previous year said an earlier map relied too heavily on race in fashioning two congressional districts.

A new wrinkle in his ongoing saga developed on Monday morning, when the Supreme Court declined to hear a plea to intervene in Dassey's case.

Under federal law, the Supreme Court is to largely defer to decisions made by lower courts, and to intervene only if the decision by the state court was unreasonable.

Stutzman appealed, saying she had a right to refuse the couple based on her opposition to same-sex marriage.

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Supreme Court won’t take up ‘Making a Murderer’ case