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The Supreme Court hears arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case; Brexit talks hit a major snag; Russia gets banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
A piece of cake
- The Supreme Court heard arguments on one of its most high-profile cases this term, about a Colorado baker named Jack Phillips who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding couple, citing his religious beliefs. [SCOTUSblog / Amy Howe]
- A final ruling is months away, but the big takeaway from today is that the Court is divided on the central question in this case: whether Phillips’s refusal to bake the cake in question is part of his First Amendment right to free speech and free expression. [Vox / German Lopez]
- Lower courts in Colorado have already said no on this question, ruling that Phillips’s stance violates a state anti-discrimination law. And the case is about far more than wedding cakes; there’s a larger debate over LGBTQ rights, as there have been numerous other circumstances of gay couples being denied services while planning a wedding. [NYT / Kirk Johnson]
- There are also significant implications for “religious liberty” in the country, as attorneys for Phillips are basically arguing that religious observance shouldn’t be limited to a place of worship but should also extend into a place of business. [Vox / Tara Isabella Burton]
- Justice Anthony Kennedy is widely viewed as the swing vote in this case, as the liberal and conservative wings are likely to split on the issue. [Vox Read More Here