The Supreme Court on Monday denied cert in a case involving a photography business in New Mexico that refused to serve a lesbian couple’s wedding. The Alliance Defending Freedom represented the business and they seem to be straining really hard to put a positive spin on that:
This is pretty dishonest spin. Yes, it’s true that a denial of cert is not the same thing as affirming the lower court and it doesn’t make the case a national precedent, but the fact that they considered the case four times and still didn’t take it is a bad thing for their cause, not a good thing. It only takes four justices to grant cert and hear a case. That they considered it four times indicates that someone was pushing really hard to take the case — almost certainly from the conservative side of the court — and could not convince even three other conservatives to agree with them. That can’t be a good thing for the ADF’s case and they know it, they’re just trying to put a positive spin on a clearly negative result.
The case centered on Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin and their business, Elane Photography. In 2006, they refused to work at the commitment ceremony of Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth. The lesbian couple was able to find another photographer but still filed a discrimination grievance against Elane Photography with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission.
The Huguenins lost at every level of the court fight, and on Monday that defeat became final. Attorney Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, represented Elane Photography in the case. He said the court’s decision not to hear the case is disappointing, but he sees a silver lining.
“This is not the same thing as the Court summarily affirming the decision below. All that means is that the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. They did mull this over for three extra times at their conference, which is encouraging in a slight way that it means the justices took this case seriously, gave it a lot of extra consideration but decided, ultimately, not to hear the case,” Lorence said.