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Supreme Court Expert: Aspects of Supreme Court Denial of Stormans Case are “Extremely Rare” and “Ominous”

June 28, 2016

Washington, DC – Today, the Supreme Court declined to review the case of Stormans v. Wiesman, in which Washington State pharmacists asked to be exempted from a regulation requiring them to sell abortion-inducing drugs. The pharmacists contended that to provide the abortion-inducing drugs would violate their faith, as well as their oath to “do no harm.”

In response to the ruling, First Liberty attorney and Supreme Court expert Ken Klukowski called aspects of the ruling both “extremely rare” and “ominous.”

“The Supreme Court denies certiorari to literally thousands of cases per year, but almost always without comment,” Ken Klukowski, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute says. “When they comment, usually a solitary justice writes only a few paragraphs. The fact that three justices put out a fifteen-page dissent from the denial of certiorari in the Stormans case is extremely rare, happening only a fraction of a percent of the time.”

“In the dissent, the first words Alito penned were, ‘This is an ominous sign,’” Klukowski noted. “This case raised the simple issue of whether people get to live their lives and operate their business according to their faith. It is indeed ominous when the government orders people to violate their faith and the nation’s highest court doesn’t consider the topic worthy of public debate. For constitutional scholars and attorneys, alarms are going off everywhere.”

Earlier this year, on behalf of 43 Members of Congress, First Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the Stormans case, asking the government to protect and affirm the conscience rights of healthcare professionals. Read the brief

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Kassie Dulin at or 214-542-4334.

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