On August 8, 2019, BG&A filed a supplemental brief before the Oregon Court of Appeals on behalf Aaron & Melissa Klein. The new brief follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of their petition for writ of certiorari and vacatur of the judgment of the Oregon Court of Appeals.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in damages after they declined, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs, to create a custom-designed wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage.
Applying the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Kleins’ supplemental brief argues that the Bureau violated the Free Exercise Clause by acting with impermissible anti-religious animus in its treatment of the Kleins and their religious beliefs. As evidence of this unconstitutional hostility, the brief points to statements that the Bureau’s Commissioner made about the Kleins before their case was even before him, his decision to award damages for a quotation of the Bible in a religious conversation initiated by a third party, the disproportionate magnitude of the damages award, and the gag order the Bureau imposed to bar the Kleins from speaking publicly about their beliefs.
In this representation, BG&A is partnering with First Liberty Institute and Herbert G. Grey.
The brief is available here.