Andrew Koppelman

Andrew Koppelman is John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University. His latest books are The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform (Oxford University Press) and Defending American Religious Neutrality (Harvard University Press).  

Recent Articles

Baking Chaos: Masterpiece Cakeshop Argument Misses the Mark

The oral arguments may sow confusion in other areas like the Trump travel ban.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images
Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court building on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission T uesday’s oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, in which a baker claims a free speech right to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, suggested that a majority of the Court may be inclined to rule for the baker. But the most coherent way for the justices to do that would signify almost nothing about the larger question of how to resolve the tension between same-sex rights and religious liberty. Instead, it would complicate President Trump’s life in, of all things, the apparently unrelated travel ban case. The baker, Jack Phillips, claims that his cakes are expressive works of art, and that making a cake for a same-sex wedding would force him to send a message of approval of same-sex marriage, which he rejects for religious reasons. He’s willing to sell premade...

The Gay Wedding Cake Case Isn’t About Free Speech

The inconvenient facts of Masterpiece Cakeshop

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) The wedding cake display at Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver on June 6, 2013. O n December 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop , the case in which a baker claims that free speech protects his right to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Although it is impossible to know how the Court will rule, I can confidently predict that if the baker wins, the justices’ explanation will be incoherent. There’s a lot of confusion, some of it intentional, over what this case is about. Here are the basic facts. Charlie Craig and David Mullins visited the Masterpiece bakery and looked through a photo album of custom-designed cakes. When the owner, Jack Phillips, greeted them, they told him (according to his own testimony) that they “wanted a wedding cake for ‘our wedding.’” Phillips told them that he did not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. They left immediately without discussing any details of their proposed wedding cake...