DENVER – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed a bit conflicted Tuesday as the court heard arguments in the Colorado-based Masterpiece cake shop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.
The case centers around a Lakewood baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, and with the other eight judges appearing to be evenly split on the case, the deciding vote will likely be Kennedy’s.
“As expected, all eyes in the courtroom were on Justice Kennedy as he was asking questions of both sides,” Denver Post Washington correspondent Mark Matthews told Denver7’s Nicole Brady on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged.
The newest justice on the court, Colorado’s own Neil Gorsuch, is also being watched closely. He is expected to side with the conservatives on the bench, but because the case is from Colorado and is similar in tone to other cases he has ruled on in the past, court watchers were paying close attention to his actions during Tuesday’s hearing.
A ruling on the matter is likely months away, and Matthews says there’s a chance it will do little to clear up the situation.
“There is the possibility they do a very narrow ruling,” Matthews said, pointing out that they could rule very specifically on this case or even remand it back to a lower court. “The likelihood is that there will be some blow back in some industry no matter which way they go. I think if you’re in the wedding industry, I think you can expect this decision to affect the way you do business, but certainly it can go beyond that whichever way they go.”
Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. & 4 p.m. on Denver7.