Supreme Court rules in Texas gerrymandering dispute

Barronelle Stutzman center a Richland Wash. florist who was fined for denying service to a gay couple in 2013 smiles as she is surrounded by supporters Nov. 15 2016 in Bellevue Wash

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The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Washington for further consideration in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm'n, 584 U.

The country's top judges ruled 7-2 in his favour. In that case, the Court ruled instead that the state had violated the baker's religious freedoms by its openly hostile treatment of his religious beliefs as he progressed through the system.

"By denying merchants the right to simply ask for another card or offer an incentive for using a preferred card, the Supreme Court has undermined the principle of free markets where one company should not be allowed to dictate the practices of an entire industry in order to protect its business model", said NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Martz.

"I opted out of participating in just one event in ten years because Scripture teaches me that marriage is between a man and a woman", Stutzman said during a media teleconference arranged by her attorneys Monday.

The justices upheld a batch of Republican-drawn legislative districts in Texas, including two in the U.S. House of Representatives, that had been thrown out by a lower court for diluting the power of black and Hispanic voters. The case was unusual because the districts at issue were adopted by a court on an interim basis as part of a discrimination lawsuit, then approved by the state legislature in what it said was an effort to end the litigation.

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Many Roma people are Italian citizens who have been in the country for generations, while others come from Eastern Europe. Merkel said she was optimistic her government and parliament would back the proposed reforms.


The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, overruled the lower court's findings that all of the districts in question were drawn to suppress the minority vote.

"We view this decision as encouraging news that justice will prevail and the Washington State Supreme Court will again uphold the state's non-discrimination laws ensuring LGBTQ people can not be turned away from a business open to the public". "And the court clearly was pretty hostile to drawing continuing implications about the motives of a state government entity based on what it had done a short time earlier".

"The Washington State Supreme Court now has the job of determining whether the U.S. Supreme Court ruling affects this case. Enforcing civil rights laws doesn't show hostility to religion", the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement. They would have preferred to see that opinion remain on the books to influence other lower court judges considering similar cases.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said business owners generally can not deny equal access to goods and services under anti-discrimination laws without creating "a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws". "That's unprecedented in Washington state in such a case".

Like Phillips, Stutzman appealed a lower court's ruling that the state's anti-discrimination law required her to serve gay and straight couples equally. Disability Rights Washington, El Centro de la Raza, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, PFLAG Seattle, Pride Foundation, QLaw Association of Washington, South Asian Bar Association of Washington and Washington Women Lawyers joined the brief.

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