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First Amendment cases coming before the Supreme Court

First Amendment cases coming before the Supreme Court

SCOTUSblog notes that several cases involving the the First Amendment will probably come before the Supreme Court this Fall:

With the Supreme Court already committed to rule on a major new test of the constitutional roles of religion and government, the prospect of additional cases reaching the Court now suggests that the next Term will be a significant one for the First Amendment’s two religion clauses.


The Court will move back into this deeply controversial field on November 6, when it holds a hearing on the issue of religious prayer as a part of government activity. Soon there will be at least one, and probably more, cases asking the Court to decide whether a business firm owned by devout believers has a right to operate the company on religious principles — in other words, can a profit-making company “exercise” religion?

And, it now appears, there will be a case on the right of a business operated by a religious family to refuse to deal with gays or lesbians. An appeal is expected from a decision issued on Thursday by the New Mexico Supreme Court, finding that a Christian operator of a commercial photography business violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing to take photos of a wedding-style ceremony of a lesbian couple. (New Mexico law does not allow same-sex marriage.)


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Donna McNiel

A number officials believe that New Mexico law does permit same-sex marriage. Two counties have begun issuing marriage licenses to couple this week based on their reading of the state constitution and a recent legal brief from the state’s attorney general.

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