Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Supreme Court has denied the petition for certiorari in the much watched case of Elane Photography v. Willock, which began when a commercial wedding photography company in New Mexico refused to sell its services to a same-sex couple. Last August, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously found that the company's conduct violated the state public accommodations statute and that the company was not entitled to a special First Amendment exemption from that law. The Supreme Court has now declined to review the First Amendment portion of that ruling.
The plaintiff, Vanessa Willock, was represented throughout the appellate stages of the case by Tobias Barrington Wolff (Penn). Eugene Volokh (UCLA) and Dale Carpenter (Minnesota) joined with the Cato Institute in filing an amicus brief on the First Amendment issues before the New Mexico Supreme Court and again in support of the company's certiorari petition. (It's just like the 1960s, when you could count on libertarians to be friends of discrimination!) Thankfully, for the plaintiff and for fairness, Professor Wolff prevailed.