Vermont Printer Case Nears Resolution
Although a state superior court judge last year dismissed a lawsuit filed against them by Vermont Catholics for Free Choice (VCFC), Chuck and Susan Baker, a Catholic couple, must return to court once again to defend their decision to refuse to print the materials for the pro-abortion group. On appeal, the Vermont Supreme Court over-turned the lower court’s decision that the Bakers’ religious beliefs would be burdened if they were forced to print VCFC’s material.
Early last year, Judge Linda Levitt ruled the Bakers’ constitutional rights must prevail over the state’s anti-discrimination statute, but by a vote of 3-2 the Vermont Supreme Court has sent the case back to the trial court on procedural grounds.
This case began in 1990 when Linda Paquette, a representative of VCFC, gave an order for membership cards to Regal Press, a printing company owned and operated by the Bakers. When the Bakers refused as a matter of principle to print the cards of this pro-abortion group, Paquette filed a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, charging the Bakers with religious discrimination for refusing to print the cards. The Commission found in favor of Paquette and the Vermont ACLU sued the Bakers on Paquette’s behalf.
Throughout their long ordeal, the Bakers have been defended by the Catholic League, Free Speech Advocates, the American Center for Law and Justice, Christian Advocates serving Evangelism and local attorneys.