Washington D.C., May 11, 2020 / 12:00 pm
Supreme Court justices on Monday heard arguments for and against extending the Civil Rights Act’s “ministerial exception” to Catholic schools when they fire teachers of religion.
“There is no reason for government to get in the business of teaching religion,” stated Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket who argued the case on behalf of the Catholic schools
On Monday, Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments over the phone in two cases consolidated as one, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel. The court announced in April that it would begin hearing arguments by live teleconference after it was forced to delay much of its planned business in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both cases focused on the “ministerial exception,” which protects the right of churches and religious ministries to select and terminate ministers without government interference.