NJ Counseling Case Goes Back to Lower Court

Apr 15, 2019

TRENTON, NJ – Liberty Counsel will refile King v. Murphy in the New Jersey lower court and work this case back up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The New Jersey law was the second state in the nation to ban licensed mental health professionals from providing counseling and for clients from receiving any counsel to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity.

Last year in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the Supreme Court gutted the Pickup v. Brown (now Pickup v. Newsome) case and a similar case from the Third Circuit, King v. Christie (now King v. Murphy). Both of these cases were expressly overruled by the High Court. Liberty Counsel sought to have the Court set aside the lower court mandate before having to refile the case; but today the Supreme Court decided not to take the case at this stage. Liberty Counsel will now refile the case in light of the Supreme Court’s express rejection of the lower court’s past ruling which upheld the counseling ban.

“We have several challenges pending to these unconstitutional counseling bans,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “We will refile this case in New Jersey and soon get one of the cases before the Supreme Court. It is not a question of if, but when, the Supreme Court will take one of these cases and implement what it already clearly stated -- that these laws violate the First Amendment. The fundamental rights of counselors and clients to exercise their right to speak in private counseling sessions must be protected. 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.

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