By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether a New Mexico photography company had free speech grounds to refuse to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple. The court's refusal to intervene means an August 2013 New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the company remains intact. Albuquerque-based Elane Photography had said its free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be a valid defense to the state's finding that it violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The company's owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, are Christians who oppose gay marriage.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ducking a new case on the divisive issue of campaign finance, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to an Iowa law that bans corporate contributions in state elections. By opting not to hear the case, the court left intact an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from June 2013 that upheld the ban. By so doing, the court indicated it was unwilling for now to press ahead with further deregulation of campaign finance following the 5-4 ruling on Wednesday in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The group sued after Iowa revised its laws in light of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court said corporations and unions could make unlimited independent expenditures that are not coordinated with a campaign.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a long-shot request for a ruling on whether the U.S. government's gathering of Americans' phone records is unlawful. The justices' refusal to intervene means the case will go forward in the appeals court, as scheduled. Plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange had said the issue was so important the high court should not wait for a Washington federal appeals court to rule in the case concerning the National Security Agency. The high court rarely hears an appeal before an appeals court has ruled.