SCOTUS Kicks Back Case Against Florist Who Refused Gay Couple

The Supreme Court on Monday vacated and kicked back a lower court’s ruling against a Washington state florist who refused to make an arrangement for a same-sex couple’s marriage, in a narrow ruling that hinged on the fairness of the original trial, The Hill reports. The case in question is Arlene’s Flowers Inc. v. Washington, in which the state sued the florist for refusing to prepare arrangements for a gay couple; Arlene’s owner, Barronelle Stutzman, countered that forcing her to do so would violate the First Amendment. After a lower court told Arlene’s that it would be required to serve same-sex couples, Stutzman appealed to the Supreme Court. The Monday decision, The Hill notes, is not based on the merits of the case; rather, the court determined that Arlene’s may have been treated unfairly in its original trial. This case is now taking a similar trajectory to that of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the recently court sided with a Colorado baker and ruled that he had been discriminatorily evaluated in his original trial. Given its recent decision in Masterpiece, the court has now tasked the lower Washington court with re-evaluating its ruling in Arlene’s.