Steve West

Steve is a legal correspondent for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, Wake Forest University School of Law, and N.C. State University. He worked for 34 years as a federal prosecutor and is now an attorney in private practice. Steve resides with his wife in Raleigh, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @slntplanet.

Alliance Defending Freedom

An impossible choice for Christian business owners

First Amendment | Wedding photographer’s dilemma highlights the need for clarity on conscience rights
by Steve West
Posted 7/07/20, 05:39 pm

A Christian wedding photographer in Virginia faces three bad options: compromising his religious beliefs, violating the law and risking bankruptcy, or shutting down. Chris Herring takes photos for LGBT clients but draws the line at content that violates his faith, like photographing a same-sex wedding. “I happily work with and serve all customers,” he said, “but I can’t and won’t let the state force me to express messages that contradict my beliefs.”

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Facebook/Stillwater Christian School (file)

Righting a historic wrong

First Amendment | The Supreme Court defends religious schools from discrimination
by Steve West
Posted 6/30/20, 06:48 pm

A century-old constitutional provision will no longer block religious schools in Montana from receiving fair treatment.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the state’s Blaine Amendment, which barred public aid from going to educational institutions “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination.” In a 5-4 decision, the justices held that the rule—named after U.S. Speaker of the House James Blaine’s failed federal amendment in 1875—unfairly excluded religious schools and children who hope to attend them.

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Associated Press/Photo by Damian Dovarganes (file)

Twilight for academic freedom?

First Amendment | UCLA suspends professor for denying student’s request for special treatment
by Steve West
Posted 6/23/20, 03:59 pm

Under what circumstances should a professor extend special grace to a student? One veteran professor found himself on the defense after giving what the school deemed the wrong answer to that question.

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