Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Article excerpt

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

STORMANS, INC., DOING BUSINESS AS RALPH'S THRIFTWAY, RHONDA MESLER, AND MARGO THELEN, Petitioners,

v.

JOHN WIESMAN, SECRETARY OF THE WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL., Respondents.

On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Luke W. Goodrich

Hannah C. Smith

The Becket Fund for

Religious Liberty

1200 New Hampshire

Ave., Ste. 700

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 955-0095

Steven T. O'Ban

Ellis, Li & McKinstry

PLLC

2025 First Ave., Pent. A

Seattle, WA 98121-3125

Kristen K. Waggoner Counsel of Record

David A. Cortman

Rory T. Gray

Alliance Defending

Freedom

15100 N. 90th Street

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 444-0020

k w a g gon er @ AD Fie gal. or g

Michael W. McConnell

559 Nathan Abbott Way

Stanford, CA 94305

Counsel for Petitioners

QUESTION PRESENTED

Congress and all fifty states have long protected the right of health care professionals to decline to participate in the taking of human life. Petitioners are a family-owned pharmacy and two pharmacists who cannot sell abortifacient drugs without violating their religious beliefs. Instead, they refer customers to one of dozens of nearby pharmacies that sell those drugs. No customer in Washington has ever been denied timely access to any drug due to religiously motivated referral.

Nevertheless, in 2007, Washington became the only state to make Petitioners' religious conduct illegal. It did so over the objections of its own Pharmacy Commission, against the recommendation of the American Pharmacists Association and the Washington Pharmacy Association, and despite its own stipulation that Petitioners' conduct "do[es] not pose a threat to timely access to lawfully prescribed medications." After a twelve-day trial, the district court held that the new regulations violate the Free Exercise Clause because they intentionally target religious conduct, have been enforced only against religious conduct, and exempt identical conduct when done for "an almost unlimited variety of secular reasons." The Ninth Circuit reversed.

The question presented is:

Whether a law prohibiting religiously motivated conduct violates the Free Exercise Clause when it exempts the same conduct when done for a host of secular reasons, has been enforced only against religious conduct, and has a history showing an intent to target religion.

PARTIES TO THE PROCEEDING

Petitioners are Stormans, Inc. (doing business as Ralph's Thriftway), Rhonda Mesler, and Margo Thelen.

Respondents are John Wiesman, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Health; Dan Rubin, Elizabeth Jensen, Emma Zavala-Suarez, Sepi Soleimanpour, Christopher Barry, Nancy Hecox, Tim Lynch, Steven Anderson, Albert Linggi, Maureen Simmons Sparks, Maura C. Little, and Kristina Logsdon, Members of the Washington Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission; Mark Brenman, Executive Director of the Washington Human Rights Commission; Martin Mueller, Assistant Secretary of the Washington State Department of Health, Health Services Quality Assurance; Judith Billings; Rhiannon An dr eini; Jeffrey Schouten; Molly Harmon; Catherine Rosman; and Tami Garrard.

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

Stormans, Inc., is a privately held corporation with no parent corporation. No publicly held corporation owns 10% or more of its stock.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

QUESTION PRESENTED.........................................i

PARTIES TO THE PROCEEDING...........................ii

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT..........iii

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES.....................................ix

PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI............1

OPINIONS BELOW...................................................4

JURISDICTION..... …

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