Liberty Counsel filed a petition today urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review King v. Christie, a case that upheld a ban on change counsel which the High Court expressly abrogated last year by name.
New Jersey passed a law banning licensed mental health professionals from providing and clients from receiving any counsel to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. The Court of Appeals found that the law was a content restriction on speech, but created a new “professional speech” category, thus providing less protection and thereby upheld the law.
Last year in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the Supreme Court gutted the King v. Christie case and a similar case from the Ninth Circuit, Pickup v. Brown. As Liberty Counsel argued to the Court of Appeals, the High Court ruled that it had never created a “professional speech” category. With the Supreme Court’s rejection of King and Pickup, the therapy bans in California, New Jersey, and other jurisdictions are subject to constitutional challenge.
Liberty Counsel asked the Court of Appeals to recall its mandate and reconsider its ruling in light of NIFLA. The court denied the request and now Liberty Counsel is requesting that the Supreme Court review that denial.
“The lives of real people are at stake, and it is critical that the Supreme Court step in to protect the fundamental rights of counselors and clients to exercise their right to speak in private counseling sessions,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The law is a gross intrusion into the fundamental rights of counselors and clients. All people should have access to the counselor of their choice. No government has the authority to prohibit a form of counseling simply because it does not like the religious or moral beliefs of a particular counselor or client,” said Staver.