SCOTUS Remands Flower Shop Case to Washington Supreme Court

By Emilie Cochran | June 25, 2018 | 1:17pm EDT
Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers (Screenshot)

( - The Supreme Court of the United States vacated judgement in the case of Arlene’s Flowers, Inc., et al. v. Washington, et al., and “the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Washington for further consideration in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n,” according to SCOTUS’s court orders.

This is yet another case involving issues of religious freedom in which SCOTUS has declined to make a definite decision.

This Supreme Court case stems from a trilogy of cases involving the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman.

Stutzman refused to do flowers for a same-sex wedding, citing her religious freedom. The American Civil Liberties Union represented the couple, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, on the grounds of discrimination in the first civil suit, Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers.

In the second lawsuit, State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, Attorney General Bob Ferguson sought to uphold Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. The state offered a settlement of a $2,000 penalty, a $1 payment for costs and an agreement by Stutzman to not discriminate again.

However, Stutzman did not want to comply, citing “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.”

The third lawsuit was filed as a countersuit by Stutzman in response to financial damages caused by the first two lawsuits.

SCOTUS once again kicked back this case to the lower courts for another try, similar to last week’s Wisconsin gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, where the court decided in a vote of 7-2 to give the plaintiffs another chance.


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