STATE COURT CASE

CRIMINAL LAW

14-1-1942 State v. Tate, Sup. Ct. (Rodriguez, P.J.A.D., temporarily assigned) (21 pp.) A conviction for possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose must merge with a conviction for aggravated manslaughter when the evidence does not support the existence of another unlawful purpose for possession of the weapon. [Decided Nov. 12, 2013.]

FEDERAL COURT CASE

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

10-7-1952 King v. Christie, U.S. Dist. Ct. (Wolfson, U.S.D.J.) (66 pp.) On Aug. 19, 2013, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Assembly Bill Number A3371 (A3371) (codified at N.J.S.A. 45:1-54, -55), which prohibits New Jersey state-licensed practitioners, who provide professional counseling services, from treating minors using methods of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE), more commonly known as “gay conversion therapy.” A3371 precludes persons licensed to practice in certain counseling professions from engaging in the practice of seeking to change a minor’s sexual orientation. The most significant issue in this case focuses on whether, by prohibiting the practice of SOCE, the state has impermissibly infringed on plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights—freedom of speech and free religious expression. Finding A3371 restricts neither speech nor religious expression, the court applies the rational basis review and concludes A3371 passes constitutional muster. [Filed Nov. 8, 2013.]