Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru | St. James School v. Biel

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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Description:  Two Catholic schools in California were sued after choosing not to renew the contracts of teachers, both of whom had many religious duties. The schools claim they have the constitutionally protected freedom to determine who can teach the faith at their institutions.

High court affirms freedom of religious schools to determine who teaches their faith

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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 Wednesday affirming the freedom of religious schools to determine who teaches their faith:

“As the Supreme Court has made clear in the past and has now made clear again, the First Amendment bars the government from interfering with a religious group’s employment decisions regarding its ministers. The court’s decision today clears up disagreements in the lower courts about the right way to define ‘minister,’ concluding that any definition should be primarily based on the religious functions an employee is asked to perform as defined by those qualified to make that judgment: the religious groups who know their faith best. In so doing, the court has respected the autonomy of faith-based schools and prevented the government from interfering with the internal operations and autonomy of religious organizations. In other words, the court has ruled in accordance with one of the primary purposes of the First Amendment.”

ADF, together with Troutman Sanders, one of the country’s largest and most respected law firms, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the high court on behalf of several Christian education associations and a religious university in support of the Catholic schools in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Additional resources: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru | St. James School v. Biel

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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Previous news releases:

  • 2020-02-10: Religious school groups: Our freedom to decide who teaches our faith should be respected

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