Attorney: SCOTUS ruling could help Arlene’s Flowers case in Washington

Jun 5, 2018, 2:51 PM
Arlene's Flowers, flowers, florist, Supreme Court...
The Arlene's Flowers saga continues. (File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Christian Colorado baker in a gay wedding case, Washingtonians are wondering if this will have any bearing on a case closer to home — Arlene’s Flowers.

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Richaland’s Arlene’s Flowers, has taken her case to the national level after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that she violated anti-discrimination laws in 2013. She refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding and cited her religious beliefs as the reason why.

RELATED: Dori says flower case illustrates how freedom is under attack

Stutzman’s attorney, Jim Campbell, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that the Supreme Court essentially declared that it is unconstitutional to treat “people of faith worse than other business owners,” setting a precedent that could substantially help Stutzman’s case.

“We believe that the record in the case that was decided yesterday, just like the record in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, shows evidence of that sort of anti-religious hostility,” he said. “And we believe for that reason that the decision the court issued yesterday should help Barronelle ultimately prevail in her case.”

Campbell criticized Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for the “relentless” manner in which he brought the lawsuit against the small flower business.

“He had a choice — he could have respected her religious freedom, which … is protected not only under the state constitution, but also under the federal constitution,” Campbell said. “Or he could have done what he did, which is set out on an unprecedented path to pursue prosecution against her, to make an example of her, and ultimately to crush her for trying to live her life and operate her business consistently with her religious beliefs.”

According to Campbell, Ferguson did “unprecedented things,” bypassing the standard administrative process and bringing his own lawsuit based on reading about Arlene’s Flowers on social media.

“This clearly shows a state attorney general who was out to get Barronelle Stutzman simply because he disagrees with her beliefs about marriage,” Campbell said.

Campbell pointed out that when Bedlam Coffee kicked out a group of Christian anti-abortion activists because of their faith last autumn, the attorney general did not step to their defense.

“It seems to me that he’s evidencing hostility toward Barronelle because of her faith,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court could now take one of three actions, Campbell said. It could grant review to the case, decline to review the case, or it could take an action called “grant, vacate, and reverse,” which would eliminate the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling on Arlene’s Flowers. It would then be sent the back to the state court “in light of [the Colorado] case,” Campbell explained.

“Anything that gives Barronelle another day in court, we’re hopeful for,” he said. “We’d love for anything that allows Barronelle to vindicate her freedom and right to live and work consistent with her faith.”


Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...
MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.
1 month ago
Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @
MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.
1 month ago
Alaska, fishing...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Shorecrest...
Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Nicole Thompson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.
1 month ago
Dori Monson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Attorney: SCOTUS ruling could help Arlene’s Flowers case in Washington