The court struggles between the state's Civil Rights Commission and a little cake shop in Lakewood will cease after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a truce between state agencies and Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Phillips sued the Civil Rights Commission to ask they never be allowed to bring a discrimination suit again against his shop after the Supreme Court ruled last year that the commission had mishandled the case - punting any far-reaching decisions about religious freedom and business owners.
Not long after that, the commission, on behalf of a transgender customer, filed another complaint against Phillips for opting not to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. He filed a federal suit complaining that the Civil Rights Commission was harassing him and asked they be barred from bringing complaints against his business in the future.
The state Attorney General's office said Phillips will voluntarily drop his federal lawsuit and the stat's commission will dismiss their administrative action against Masterpiece Cakeshop and Phillips.
"After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone's best interest to move forward with these cases," Weiser said in a news release. "The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving."
What began this saga of court filings was an incident in 2012 when Phillips would not make a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig - they wanted a cake for their wedding reception. Phillips, citing his religious beliefs, told them he wouldn't make the cake.
The Mullins then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Years later, after going through various state courts, Phillips scored a massive victory.
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips in early June 2018, bringing to end six years of courtroom testimonials and arguments.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, in delivering the majority opinion of the court, called the commission hostile toward religion. Justice Neil Gorsuch - who was appointed in 2017 to the Court by President Donald Trump and is from Colorado - said the commission failed to act neutrally.
"Most notably, the Commission allowed three other bakers to refuse a customer’s request that would have required them to violate their secular commitments," Gorsuch wrote. "Yet it denied the same accommodation to Mr. Phillips when he refused a customer’s request that would have required him to violate his religious beliefs."
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