On behalf of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (“Tanenbaum”), a pro bono team from Schulte has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a same-sex couple who was refused service by a bakery and its owner in connection with their request for a wedding cake. The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. and Jack C. Phillips v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Charlie Craig, and David Mullins.
Tanenbaum argues in the brief that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and subsequently the Colorado Court of Appeals, properly determined that application of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (“CADA”) did not violate the bakery or bakery owner's rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, Tanenbaum argues that if the religious freedom argument advanced by the Petitioners and their amici were to prevail, the case would authorize discrimination against individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs, a result that would be contrary to well-settled precedent, the mutual goals of the Free Exercise Clause and anti-discrimination laws, and sound policy.
As part of the firm's many pro bono initiatives, SRZ has served as long-time counsel to Tanenbaum, which promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious differences and combat prejudice in schools, workplaces, public accommodations, health care settings and areas of armed conflict. The Schulte team behind the amicus brief was led by employment & employee benefits partner and Tanenbaum board member Holly Weiss, litigation partner Robert Ward and special counsel for pro bono initiatives Danny Greenberg. Litigation special counsel Jennifer Opheim managed the team, which included litigation associates Randall Adams, Mark Garibyan, Brian Lanciault and Ben Yang, and managing clerk Evan Melluzzo.
Click here to read the brief.