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

The Internet Road to Nowhere

Last week, in the detailed comment that NRB filed with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on the issue of Internet regulation, this question was raised: What would it profit America to gain the world of digital innovation if, in the process, we end up losing our First Amendment soul?

NRB 2015 Media Awards: Less Than 2 Weeks Left to Enter!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 4, 2014. A longstanding hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of the association's most valued traditions.

Exhibit Space at the NRB15 Int’l Christian Media Convention Available Now! Get Yours Today!

Want to place your company or ministry in front of thousands of decision-makers in an ever-growing industry? Then consider exhibiting at NRB’s 2015 International Christian Media Convention.

Available Now: Your Organization's Own Private Lounge or Suite at the NRB 2015 Convention!

Need a temporary headquarters for your organization during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention? Then a Hospitality Lounge is for you!

Christian Radio Veteran Barry Armstrong to Head Victory Radio Network

Longtime Christian radio leader and Spirit FM co-founder Barry Armstrong has been called out of retirement to lead Liberty University’s Victory Radio Network as General Manager.

Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, had some choice words for Planned Parenthood and others working to radically undermine religious liberty in the Senate this week.

Congressman Calls Out FCC on Broadcast Indecency Enforcement

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) put the FCC on notice that he was displeased with the Commission’s enforcement against indecency on the broadcast airwaves.

House Committee Leaders Criticize FCC Chairman’s Process

Top leaders on the House panel with oversight of the FCC issued a sharp rebuke of the FCC Chairman’s leadership. House Communications and Technology Subcommittee...

International Religious Freedom Bill Clears Senate

A bill NRB has supported for several years has been approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act (S.653), introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Carl Levin (D-MI),

iNRB Student Members Study Abroad in Oxford, England

A select group of iNRB student members recently concluded a two-week study abroad trip to Oxford, England, where they engaged in “one on one” tutorials with a distinguished scholar at Jesus College in the heart of Oxford University.

More News