HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week decided not to take up Elane Photography v. Willock, a case in which a professional photographer was punished for declining a request to work due to her religious beliefs.  

In 2006, Elaine Huguenin chose not to use her artistic talents for a same-sex commitment ceremony. While the would-be customer, Vanessa Willock, found another photographer, she proceeded to file a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. Ultimately, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against Elane Photography, dismissing an argument that to photograph such a ceremony violated Mrs. Huguenin’s First Amendment right against compelled speech. In a concurring opinion, one of the New Mexico Supreme Court Justices argued that Mrs. Huguenin needed to compromise in this situation as “the price of citizenship.”

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an NRB Member, represented Elane Photography. After the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman stated, “Elaine and numerous others like her around the country have been more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are not willing to promote any and all messages. A government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions is a government every American should fear.”

Another ADF senior counsel, Jordan Lorence, posted in a National Review Online article, “I am concerned that this dark time of viewpoint suppression will get darker before it gets better. Our Founding Fathers gave us the First Amendment to protect people’s freedom of expression and freedom of conscience from these emotional spasms of government coercion. All Americans ought to see this growing threat to our liberty and our First Amendment traditions and speak against it. That is the true ‘price of citizenship.’”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: April 11, 2014

Latest News

Congressional Leadership Updates

Last week, Members of Congress returned to Washington for the first time since the momentous mid-term elections on November 4.

Abedini Spotlighted as Iran Negotiations Continue

With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States approaching their November 24 deadline, Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)...

Congressman Dingell to Receive Medal of Freedom

Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving Member of Congress in U.S. history and a former Chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Monday.

New STELA Bill Approved by Congress

With provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset at the end of this year, the Congress this week introduced a new version of a bill to extend that law for another five years and then fast-tracked its approval.

Passes to the NRB 2015 Exposition Are Free; Register Today!

The NRB Exposition is the largest marketplace dedicated to Christian media professionals. And in case you haven’t heard yet, there is no charge for entering the Exhibit Hall at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Early Bird Rates for NRB15 Registration Extended to Nov. 30

Due to popular demand, the Early Bird discounted rate for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention has been extended through Sunday, November 30, 2014.

NRB Against Internet Power Grab

President Barack Obama released a statement this week urging the FCC to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

North Korea Releases American Missionary

After over two years of detention, the communist regime in North Korea released Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, along with another U.S. citizen, Matthew Todd Miller.

March for Life Wants Pastors to Come to Washington

Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, has reached out to pastors nationwide inviting them to come with members of their congregations to Washington, DC, in January for the annual pro-life march.

Pew Report Shows Growing Use of Online Media by Voters

A survey released by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans are relying more and more on mobile phones and social media for learning election news and information.

More News