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Tingley v. Ferguson

Description:  Brian Tingley, a licensed marriage and family counselor in Tacoma, Washington, is challenging a state law that prohibits certain private client-counselor conversations and counseling goals that the government disfavors.

Monday, Dec 11, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday not to hear Tingley v. Ferguson, a case challenging Washington state’s counseling censorship law:

“We’re disappointed that Washington’s counseling censorship law will continue to prevent many people from getting the help they need. The law clearly violates the First Amendment by censoring counselors like Brian, and that ultimately hurts his clients. Washington forces counselors to tell their clients that there is no path to affirming their biological sex. It is disappointing that Washington’s censorship regime will remain in place. This issue is not going away. As Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Alito pointed out, this law clearly regulates speech, there is a circuit split on the issue, and 20 other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. We urge the Supreme Court to take a similar case when the time comes.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Previous News Releases

Legal Documents

Amicus briefs filed in support of granting certiorari: See briefs filed 4/25/23 to 4/27/23

Related Resources

Resource page: Freedom of conscience

ABOUT John Bursch

John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.