Superior court in Vermont was the setting on March 16, 1993, for oral arguments on a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants in Paquette v. Regal Art Press. The written briefs supporting the motion, which argue that the “undisputed facts” require the judge to throw out the case against Chuck and Susan Baker, were filed on June 1, 1992.
The events leading up to this case began in January of 1990. Linda Paquette, a representative of Vermont Catholics for Free Choice, a pro-abortion group, gave an order for membership cards to Regal Art Press, a printing business in St. Albans, Vermont. The owners of Regal Press, Chuck and Susan Baker, are devout Catholics who support pro-life.
When the Bakers realized that Catholics for Free Choice was a pro-abortion group, they refused to print the cards as a matter of principle.
Paquette complained to the Vermont Human Rights Commission stating that the Bakers’ refusal to print the cards amounted to religious discrimination. The Commission found in Paquette’s favor and the Vermont ACLU subsequently sued the Bakers on Paquette’s behalf, claiming that in refusing to print the cards Regal Art Press violated a state antidiscrimination law. The suit sought an injunction which would force the Bakers to print the objectionable cards and an award of attorney fees.
The Bakers have been represented by Dan Lynch, a local attorney; the Catholic League, Free Speech Advocates, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism and the American Center for Law and Justice have joined in the Bakers’ defense.
Jay Alan Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and litigation counsel for Free Speech Advocates, appeared in court on behalf of the Bakers to argue the motion for summary judgment. Sekulow urged the court to dismiss Paquette’s claim because the refusal of Regal Art Press to print the membership cards was not an act of discrimination.
“This is not a case where the same service is provided to some people and not to others,” Sekulow stated.
“Regal Art Press refuses to print pro-abortion materials for anyone, whether ‘Catholics for Choice’ or ‘Jews for Choice’ or ‘Protestants for Choice”‘.
The judge took the case “under advisement” and will issue a ruling at some later date.