In August, Demkovich won his case against the archdiocese before a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The divided panel ruled that the parish couldn't be immune from a hostile workplace lawsuit because of religious freedom claims.
However, the full court vacated that decision and reheard the case on Tuesday.
Becket argued that the prior ruling conflicts with the court's previous decisions on religious freedom, as well as those of other federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the Supreme Court's July, 2020 decision in Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru, the high court found that religious institutions are not subject to employment discrimination law when they hire or fire "ministers" of religion.
"Courts nationwide have consistently ruled that the government doesn't get to inject itself into the church-minister relationship," Blomberg added. "Churches, not judges or government officials, should control who stands at the pulpit or in front of the choir."
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Becket has argued that previous court decisions have ignored the application of the ministerial exception to the case.
Demkovich, they argue, served at St. Andrew's since 2012 in a religious capacity, helping plan the liturgies and providing musical accompaniment. Thus, he was a "minister" of religion, and was subject to faith-based workplace standards--such as staffers being expected to uphold Church teaching in their lives.
The divided panel of the Seventh Circuit ruled in August that the ministerial exception cannot extend "to categorically bar all hostile environment discrimination claims by ministerial employees."