U.S. Supreme Court

Can California ban state-funded travel to LGBTQ-discriminating states? 2 SCOTUS justices dissent to cert denial

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The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a suit challenging California’s ban on state-funded travel to states that fail to ban LGBTQ discrimination.

Texas sought to file its challenge directly in the Supreme Court under the constitutional grant of original jurisdiction to the high court in disputes between states. Two conservative justices dissented when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case Monday, USA Today reports.

Texas allows agencies to ban foster care placements and adoptions to same-sex couples based on religious grounds. The state claimed that the travel ban was due to “religious animus,” and that it violates the privileges and immunities clause, the commerce clause and the equal protection clause.

“If this cycle of retaliation continues, it will leave a country divided into red and blue states: The former spend money only in other red states; the latter spend money only in the blue ones,” Texas told the Supreme Court.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. argued in a dissent, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, that the court should have heard the case or should have at least agreed to briefing and argument on the jurisdictional question.

Alito said the Supreme Court never rejected an original jurisdiction complaint in the first 150 years after the adoption of the Constitution. After that, the court chipped away at original jurisdiction until it began declining to exercise its original jurisdiction in disputes between states.

“The practice of refusing to permit the filing of a complaint in cases that fall within our original jurisdiction is questionable, and that is especially true when, as in this case, our original jurisdictional is exclusive,” Alito wrote.

“Unlike the regional courts of appeals, the federal district courts and the state courts, we are not tied to any region or state and were therefore entrusted with the responsibility of adjudicating cases where the suspicion of local bias may run high,” Alito said. “The present case is just such a suit.”

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