The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear a case involving a prominent Trump legal adviser who was banned from a speaking event due to his conservative views.
The Western Justice Center in Pasadena, California, canceled an event by the Pasadena Republican Club on April 20, 2017, because attorney John Eastman was a speaker. Mr. Eastman had advised former President Trump’s legal team on election challenges.
The GOP group previously had hosted evening events at the building. But the Western Justice Center, which had authority over city-owned property, banned the group from further renting space.
According to court papers, the Pasadena Republican Club was notified three hours before the event that it would not be allowed to host Mr. Eastman at the building due to the attorney’s conservative views on social issues.
“We learned today that [Mr. Eastman] is the president … of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM’s positions on same-sex marriage, gay adoption, and transgender rights are antithetical to the values of the Western Justice Center,” the email notice read.
The Pasadena Republican Club sued, arguing that its constitutional rights were violated.
Lower courts sided with the Western Justice Center and the city, prompting the GOP group to ask the high court to review the case. It argued that the viewpoint discrimination exercised against it ran afoul of the First Amendment.
The Western Justice Center contested the lawsuit, arguing in its court filing that it couldn’t be liable for violating constitutional rights because it is a nonprofit, not a state actor, and asked the justices not to review the dispute.
It would have taken at least four justices to vote in favor of reviewing the case.
The case is Pasadena Republican Club v. Western Justice Center and the City of Pasadena.
• Alex Swoyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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