Hooray for SCOTUS!

The Supremes have *unanimously* smacked down our God King’s spectacular attempt at overreach and crushed underfoot the Administration’s argument that it can subject Church’s to EEOC regulations. Let us cheer for such sanity still remaining in the Court.

I wonder if he will have them arrested as Enemies of the State and indefinitely detained.

Just kidding. Sort of.

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  • That is very good news!

  • M.Z.

    I really don’t understand the celebration. The facts of the case are that LCMS acted contemptuously. It quite frankly is another mark against those who would claim that we can count on the churches to treat us more justly than secular society. She wasn’t fired for ideologically reasons. She was fired because she became disabled, and then had the temerity to get better.

    • math_geek

      Freedom without the freedom to act disgracefully is not freedom at all.

    • craig

      She was fired because she, as a sanctioned minister, refused to accept the canonical judgment of her church. It is no different than a bishop removing a priest who refuses to honor his vows of obedience (e.g., as in the case of clergy who have sued their own bishop in secular courts to prevent a parish closing decision). The bishop’s action may be unjust, but it is impossible to bar his action in secular law without doing irreparable harm to freedom of religion.

      • M.Z.

        In choosing between religious freedom and human dignity, religious freedom must win. Duly noted.

        • craig

          In choosing between a concept not defined in the Constitution and a right explicitly enumerated therein, the legal system ought to side with the enumerated right, or else we might as well throw out the Constitution as meaningless.

  • SKay

    I heard about this on the news this morning–it is wonderful news. As Elizabeth says though–this is just round one with the Obama administration.

    After reading a book about Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas that made clear what happened to the Lutheran Church before and during WWII in Germany, I realize these moves by this particular administration are just the beginning.

    I am afraid that all of the future decisions will not be 9-0.

    That is why Supreme Court nominations are important and what party is in the majority of the Senate when these nominations come up.

    • SKay

      Monsignor Pope pointing out how the Church is being targeted.


  • Peggy R

    I had hoped for 5-4. 9-0 is very, very good news. This gives us hope indeed. Praise God!

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Obama!

  • Amy P.

    Probably not arrested, but I think the odds of Obama making some sort of snarky/insulting comment about it/directed at SCOTUS during the State of the Union.

    Because publicly humiliating the Justices last year worked so well, you know…

  • brian martin

    let us not be so hasty to cheer.
    This opens the door for churches to fire someone for reporting criminal acts like sexual abuse to the authorities if their church teaches that such things should be handled within the Church.

    • Greg C.

      The Court explicitly limited its holding to claims of employment discrimination, explicitly mentioning retaliation against whistleblowers and declining to extend its holding to such cases. From pages 20 and 21 of the slip opinion:

      “According to the EEOC and Perich, [the ministerial] exception could protect religious organizations from liability for retaliating against employees for reporting criminal misconduct or for testifying before a grand jury of in a criminal trial. … The case before us is an employment discrimination suit … Today we hold only that the ministerial exception bars such a suit. We express no view on whether the exception bars other types of suits, including actions by employees alleging breach of contract or tortious conduct by their religious employers.”

      • brian martin

        Yes, they mention it, but it does not say that it prohibits it…which leaves the door open for religious organizations to try use the minnisterial exception in that way. One minister reports another for having kiddie porn on his computer, and when it is not reported to the authorities, reports it himself. Church guidelines spell out that these matters are to be handled by the church. The minister is fired for reporting because as a minister he didn’t comply with church guidelines for ministers. This is not prohibited. If you think religious bureaucracies won’t use this opening you are crazy.
        I find it hard to believe that we are advoctaing for an exemption to just treatment of employees because they have ministerial training.

        • Greg C.

          It also wasn’t prohibited before Hosanna-Tabor came down. That the Court did not take this opportunity to forbid employer retaliation under the ministerial exception does not mean that such retaliation is permitted–it only means that the Court chose to exercise restraint and rule only on the facts before it.

          In your case, the whistleblower can take his religious employer to court and claim whatever protections the law affords him for retaliatory firing. If he can prove his case, the religious organization cannot claim that the Hosanna-Tabor ruling protects their conduct, because they aren’t being sued for discriminating but for retaliating against a whistleblower. (They can try, but the courts will ultimately reject the claim and say that Hosanna-Tabor was a limited holding that does not apply to other situations.)