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Elane Photography distributed for Supreme Court’s April 4 conference

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

The Supreme Court has relisted Elane Photography v. Willock again, this time for their conference on April 4. The Court looked at the petition for review on March 21 and again on March 28, but so far, they’ve taken no action.

The case is a challenge to New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law banning discrimination in public accommodations. The law includes sexual orientation and gender identity, among other things. The challenge was brought by a photography business in the state, a public accommodation that wants to refuse service to same-sex couples. A same-sex couple had filed a discrimination complaint against the business for refusing to photograph their commitment ceremony (before same-sex marriage was legal in the state) and the business challenged the ruling in favor of the couple on the grounds that serving the couple would be “compelled speech.” The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the law doesn’t compel any speech and that as a public accommodation, the business can’t discriminate.

The business asks the Supreme Court to find that the law as applied to their photography business does compel them to speak a message with which they disagree. The New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision is reportedly what led Arizona legislators to pass SB 1062, the ant-LGBT law vetoed by Governor Brewer.

There are several possible reasons for a relist, so there’s no way to know why a decision has not been made on whether to hear the case. They could be waiting on another case to be taken up in a conference, or they could be waiting on a pending decision on the merits in some case. Alternatively, one or more Justices could be writing a statement respecting the denial of review, or a dissent from denial of review. Or, the Justices may just be interested in the case to the extent that they want to consider it over more than just one conference. Orders from the April 4 conference will likely be released the following Monday.


  • 1. Zack12  |  April 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

    On a different note, just came across this.
    It appears Chuck Grassley is trying to get all judicial nominees to say that Windsor didn't give judges the power to strike down state bans.
    Here's the thing Chuck, five (possibly six) people on the Supreme COurt are going to make the final ruling on that and they will tell you to take your bigotry and shove it.

  • 2. Ann_S  |  April 1, 2014 at 11:39 am

    That is obviously improper of Grassley. Also, prospective judges should refuse to answer questions as to how they would rule on cases that might come before them.

  • 3. Lymis  |  April 1, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Well, Windsor didn't give lower courts the power to strike down state bans. The 14th Amendment does that. Windsor addressed the resulting federal benefits. SCOTUS has not yet directly addressed the state bans, though lower courts are finding the Windsor logic – which is precedent – to apply equally at the state level.

    So even if he manages to do what he thinks he's doing, it won't accomplish what he thinks he's accomplishing.

  • 4. Retired lawyer  |  April 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Sen. Grassley has no legal background, which might be a bit of a shortcoming if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the November election and he becomes Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

  • 5. Rick O.  |  April 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Grassley is retiring this year. Democratic candidate just got into a heap of trouble mentioning he has no law degree and is "just a farmer".

  • 6. Terry  |  April 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Harkin is retiring not Grassley.

  • 7. Rick O.  |  April 1, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Oops – you're so right. Sorry. Worse is the R's have a good chance to pick up Harkin's seat.

  • 8. Christian  |  April 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Hey whatever happened to SCA 12-001 in Colorado? The amendment that would've repealed Amendment one? Did that die in committee?

  • 9. Christian  |  April 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Amendment *2 sorry

  • 10. Rick O.  |  April 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Wherever it is, it's not Colorado. Our effort to repeal is ready to go for 2016 in the unlikely event the courts don't come through sooner. The decision was made to squash any efforts for 2014, and the D's in the legislature have only added joint tax filing for civil unions (which garnered only 1 R vote in both houses.

  • 11. DrHeimlich  |  April 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    It's possible Christian wasn't referring to a marriage equality amendment (which as you say, doesn't look to be happening in 2014). He may be referring to a measure to remove the language of "Amendment 2" from the Colorado Constitution — the measure at the heart of the Romer v. Evans lawsuit, which is still part of the document. (It's in the Bill of Rights, Article II, section 30b.)

    I haven't heard anything about the efforts to strike the unenforceable and unconstitutional language from the document since 2012, when the last push to put removal on the ballot fell short.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  April 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Mississippi Legislature Passes Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill [Towleroad]

    Apparently this bill was resurrected and passed today.

  • 13. bayareajohn  |  April 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    If this makes it past the Governor's desk, won't these lawmakers be chagrined when Muslims stop serving "barbarians", and cults flaunt whatever laws they don't like. Their efforts to appear NOT to focus on the real target, LGBT's, will be their undoing.

  • 14. Background Gal  |  April 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    No, they'll just pass more laws recognizing which religions are entitled.

    WHAT establishment clause?

  • 15. Fairy Larry  |  April 2, 2014 at 10:40 am

    "Infidels"..not "barbarians"

  • 16. Mike in Baltimore  |  April 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    It was the Romans who called all non-Romans 'barbarians'. The word barbarian is said to have evolved from the sound sheep make ('baa baa') when 'speaking'. The Romans couldn't understand the sheep, and those who didn't speak Latin.

  • 17. Richard Weatherwax  |  April 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The Bible says the Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, do not please God, and are contrary to all men (1Thess 2:15). Does give Christians to right to discriminate against Jews? If a Christian had a sincere conviction that the Pope was the anti-Christ, could that Christian legally discriminate against Catholics? Why should one Christian bigot be given rights which other Christian bigots are denied?

    If religious belief gives you the right to disregard the law, I will form my own church based upon Matthew 17:24-27 and refuse to pay taxes.

  • 18. Background Gal  |  April 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    They've opened Pandora's box. Oops, yet another belief system that gets to ignore laws… Greek mythology. Wait, the Greeks were into same-sex… oh what a tangled web.

  • 19. Sagesse  |  April 1, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Michigan Marriage Fiasco [NRO]

    Is it my imagination, or is this absolutely subdued for an Ed Whelan rant?

  • 20. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I haven't read much of Whelan's stuff, but it certainly seems subdued, dare I say resigned?

  • 21. jpmassar  |  April 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    New lawsuit in Florida.

    Tuesday, Huntsman and Jones sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin in her capacity as clerk, challenging Amendment 2.

    Their lawyer, Bernadette Restivo, filed the lawsuit the same morning as Huntsman and Jones applied for a marriage license at the County Clerk's Office in Key West because, as expected, clerk staff denied the application, saying they had no choice.

  • 22. Dr. Z  |  April 2, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Three judge panel assigned to Utah case
    <a href="″ target=”_blank”>…” target=”_blank”>

  • 23. Dr. Z  |  April 2, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Sorry about the messy URL, I'm typing on a tiny keyboard with nonexistent editing capability

  • 24. FYoung  |  April 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Here's a tiny version of the URl to the Deseret News article:

  • 25. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  April 2, 2014 at 8:29 am

    […] USA, New Mexico: The US Supreme Court will consider taking up the New mexico Photography case again on 4/4. It has passed up two opportunities to do so thus far. full story […]

  • 26. GinPS  |  April 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I read that 2 of the judges were appointed by GOP, one by Dems … I can't find any info on them, does anybody have additional info to share?

  • 27. Josh  |  April 5, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Any decision on whether the court will take the Elane case?

    How many times will they review it?

    Shit or get off the pot already!!

  • 28. bythesea  |  April 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    It may be in effective limbo until, for example the Hobby Lobby decision comes down, for all we know.

  • 29. Josh  |  April 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I could see that as a reason to put this one off, but I'm curious why they keep saying they'll review it again. I'm just impatient with how slowly the courts move, but I should be used to it since I've been following all these cases.

  • 30. DHeaa  |  April 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your conntet seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers

  • 31. adam  |  May 14, 2014 at 5:12 am

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