Story Highlights

On January 11, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court decided HOSANNA–TABOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL v. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, et al. A copy of the Court’s opinion is here. The Court declared that the ministerial exception bars an employment discrimination suit brought by a minister who challenged her church’s decision to fire her. The Court’s unanimous opinion also reaffirmed the long-standing constitutional principles, cited by the Episcopal Parties, that a hierarchical church’s rights to choose its local clergy and to protect the use of its historic cathedrals and property are paramount First Amendment concerns. The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, filed an amicus brief in support of the prevailing Lutheran parties.