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Colorado Attorney General, Masterpiece Cakeshop agree to stop litigation

Posted at 11:20 AM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 20:11:50-05

DENVER – The Colorado Attorney General’s office announced that it “mutually agreed” with Masterpiece Cakeshop to end its ongoing litigation in federal and state courts.

The agreement states that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission will dismiss the state’s action against the shop’s owner, Jack Phillips. In return, Phillips will dismiss the federal case he filed against the state.

“After careful consideration of the facts, both sides agreed it was not in anyone’s best interest to move forward with these cases. The larger constitutional issues might well be decided down the road, but these cases will not be the vehicle for resolving them. Equal justice for all will continue to be a core value that we will uphold as we enforce our state’s and nation’s civil rights laws,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a statement.

The Masterpiece Cakeshop gained national attention after Phillips refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple due to his religious beliefs. The court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips last June, saying that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was not neutral toward Phillips’ religious beliefs.

Shortly after that decision, Autumn Scardina, a transgender lawyer in Denver said the Cakeshop violated her civil rights when it refused to make a cake to celebrate her transition. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission then said it found probable cause that the shop discriminated against her, citing another Supreme Court ruling.

Phillips then filed a lawsuit of his own in federal court, his lawyers alleging that the state of Colorado was on a “crusade to crush” him because of his religious beliefs.

According to a statement from the Weiser’s office, the Civil Rights Commission voted unanimously to drop the case. Under the agreement, if she wanted to, Scardina would still be free to pursue legal action of her own.