On Tuesday, we caught up with Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, after oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court. ADF is representing Jack in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and Kristen asked the court to protect his religious and artistic freedom.
Here’s what Jack and Kristen had to say about the case and oral arguments:
What was it like being in the courtroom during oral arguments?
Going into the Supreme Court was pretty awesome—just to know it’s not just another court; it’s not traffic court; it’s the United States Supreme Court. Everyone knows all the justices and just to see them come out was pretty cool. Listening to the arguments – I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know all the intricacies – but just listening to it. It was, I thought, fairly positive and balanced. They were attacking both sides; the questions were hard for both sides. And I was confident, especially with Kristen, and she was just dynamite up there. It was awesome to watch. It was fun, and I’m confident we presented the best argument we can.
What has God taught you in the past five years?
The most important thing that I’ve learned is God’s sovereignty through all of this. He orchestrates everything according to His time, if we’re just patient. We see that’s always been the case, and He does what He will do in His time. And we know He will work His will out through all of this going forward. It’s not over yet, and we will just keep trusting and watching Him every day to see what He has for us.
What has helped you to endure the past five years?
It’s kind of like they say: in the eye of the hurricane, it’s really calm. And I feel like I’m standing in the middle watching everything, and I know He’s in charge of everything that’s moving. And He’s in charge of my life as well. And if I’m in the hurricane, He will be there also.
How did oral arguments go?
I think they went well. The court asked difficult questions of both sides and seemed very concerned with how Colorado has treated Jack Phillips.
What is the principle at stake in this case?
The right of all Americans, including creative professionals, to be able to speak and live consistent with their convictions.
How does it feel for you and your co-counsel to be done with oral arguments?
It feels very nice. Yes, it’s a big relief. You always wonder what the court might ask in any oral argument and especially before this court. So it’s a great relief to be done, and I think we represented our side well in the briefing and in the oral argument. From the moment we got out of bed this morning until here, I think both [ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell] and I just had a spirit of peace. We just felt very peaceful about whatever God had for today.