- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

The Supreme Court on Monday put off a decision on whether to hear a highly watched case involving a Christian baker who declined to make a cake for a same-sex wedding — the 13th time the high court has held the decision over, sparking speculation the justices will duck the case.

Christian conservatives had been hoping the court would take up the case and rule in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, which was cited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for discrimination after the bakery declined to make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple.

The case has been on the Supreme Court’s potential calendar since last September, and been listed for 14 conferences, but each time the justices have emerged to say it was re-listed for the future.

Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law, said usually a case is re-listed once so the justices can look at it more closely, but a second relist could mean one of the justices is writing a dissent to deny review.

“At this point, it seems unlikely the court will grant it,” said Mr. Blackman.

The next conference will be Thursday.

Jordan Lorence, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty law firm defending the baker, said it’s a “great mystery” why the case keeps getting postponed.

“They are purposefully holding it over for some reason that we don’t know,” said Mr. Lorence. “That is very, very unusual, but I think it points out the importance of these right of conscience cases.”

Other cases that court watchers have been monitoring for review by the high court are Peruta v. California, which is a Second Amendment right to carry case, and also Fourth Amendment cases dealing with the government’s ability to get cellphone location records without a warrant.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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