A footnote in the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling bodes ill for religious liberty

In other words, Phillips’s religious beliefs about marriage—beliefs, by the way, which are orthodox teachings in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—are not to be taken seriously. Nor is the notion that a baker who is asked to make a specialty cake that celebrates what is, for the baker, a religious ceremony, might be engaging in protected speech by creating that cake, in much the same way a photographer or any other artist does.

For Kagan, the law may be construed to achieve a desired outcome, so long as those enforcing it don’t betray their animus toward certain religious beliefs.

The same idea crops up in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent, joined by Justice Sonya Sotomayor, in which she argues that there is no First Amendment question at all in the Masterpiece case, because “when a couple contacts a bakery for a wedding cake, the product they are seeking is a cake celebrating their wedding—not a cake celebrating heterosexual weddings or same-sex weddings—and that is the service (the couple) were denied.”