Major Victory for Christian Schools

The Supreme Court of the United States SCOTUS located on 1st Street N.E. Washington DC is the highest federal court of the United States.

“The U.S. Supreme Court handed private religious schools a major victory Wednesday, broadening the so-called ministerial exception and ruling they can hire and fire employees without being governed by anti-discrimination laws. At issue were teachers at two separate Catholic schools who sued after their contracts were not renewed for reasons the schools said were related to performance. One teacher, though, alleged age discrimination, and the other alleged she was released because she asked for time off for a medical procedure. Both sued. The ministerial exception is a legal doctrine that allows religious institutions to hire and fire employees without being governed by anti-discrimination laws. The U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals sided with the teachers, ruling they were covered by anti-discrimination because they weren’t ministers and had no ministerial background. But the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, said the schools were not bound by non-discrimination laws. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. The ruling could impact future cases related to sexual orientation and gender identity, allowing Christian schools to dismiss–for example–a teacher who comes out as LGBT. The ministerial exception, Alito ruled, is broad. An employer doesn’t have to wear the title ‘minister’ to be exempted from non-discrimination laws, Alito wrote. ‘What matters, at bottom, is what an employee does,’ he wrote. Joining Alito in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. ‘Today is a huge win for religious schools of all faith traditions,’ said Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. ‘The last thing government officials should do is decide who is authorized to teach Catholicism to Catholics or Judaism to Jews. We are glad the Court has resoundingly reaffirmed that churches and synagogues, not government, control who teaches kids about God.’”

“Supreme Court Hands Major Victory to Christian Schools,” Christian Headlines, July 8, 2020