A clear picture: Free-speech precedent should apply to photogs

A clear picture: Free-speech precedent should apply to photogs

A clear picture: Free-speech precedent should apply to photogs

Two photographers are fighting in court for the right to say yes or no to the messages their artistic products convey.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the owner of 303 Creative of Colorado, a website designer who refused to be forced by the state to conform to the state government's beliefs. In an interview with AFN, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jake Warner explains his firm is representing photographers in both Kentucky and New York who find themselves in similar situations.

Warner, Jake (ADF attorney) Warner

"And we're asking circuit courts to apply the 303 Creative decision to protect their rights to create photography and write blogs consistent with their beliefs," he says.

Warner says the clients in both cases, like other Americans, cannot be forced to say what the government wants them to.

"Emily Carpenter and Chelsea Nelson are both photographers," the attorney explains. "They seek to create beautiful photography and write compelling blogs that are consistent with their beliefs. But government in both of those states are trying to force them to promote messages that go against their deepest beliefs.”

Neihart, Bryan Neihart

ADF legal counsel Bryan Neihart says the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the 303 Creative case clarifies that "nondiscrimination laws like Louisville's can remain firmly in place, but the government cannot misuse those laws to compel speech."

The legal group is urging the courts to uphold this freedom and follow Supreme Court precedent so Carpenter and Nelson can speak freely without being threatened by the government with fines and penalties.

Warner says with the Supreme Court ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, both clients have good reason to believe they will prevail and claim their First Amendment rights.