A couple of appeals brought by right-wing organizations with hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would agree to hear their cases had their hopes dashed today when the Court denied their appeals.
The first case is Elane Photography v. Willock, involving a wedding photographer’s refusal to photograph a lesbian couple’s wedding-style ceremony. This is the case most celebrated by Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature (along with the Colorado bakery case) for their unanimous support for SB 1062, the Religious Bigotry bill eventually vetoed by Governor Brewer.
The Washington Post reports, Supreme Court won’t review gay commitment photo case:
The Supreme Court Monday declined to consider whether a New Mexico photographer had a free-speech right to refuse service to a same-sex couple who wanted her to record their commitment ceremony.
Without comment, the court said it would not review a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that the denial of service violated the state’s public accommodations law, which bans discrimination by those offering their services to the public.
The decision had been cited by states, such as Arizona, for laws that would protect companies and individuals who say providing some services to same-sex couples would violate their religious beliefs.
Whatever service you provide, you must not discriminate against customers when you engage in public commerce.
Is this a precursor to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties? I would not read too much into this denial given the oral argument in cases which the Court should not have accepted based upon long-standing precedents and settled constitutional law.
The second case is a campaign finance case, Iowa Right to Life v. Tooker, in which the Justices were asked to decide whether to extend the Court’s ruling last week striking down one limit on campaign contributions to the federal ban on direct contributions by corporations to candidates in federal elections.
Rick Hasen explains in Breaking: Supreme Court Denies Cert in Corporate Contributions Case:
This news is not surprising. This case, unlike most of the other campaign finance cases the Court has taken in recent years, comes up on a petition for cert. rather than on direct appeal. (This matters because a decision to deny cert. means nothing, while the summary affirmance of an appeal has precedential value). Plus, it is in line with Roberts’ faux judicial restraint/go slow approach.
This is not the final word, as was made clear by Justice Thomas in his concurring opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The Justices may have decided that this case did not present the issue squarely, or they are just not yet ready to consider extending their ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, as Rick Hasen suggests.
The Republican Party and its right-wing allies will continue to bring cases until the Roberts Court has struck down all campaign finance limitations.