Tag Archives: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC

A Time to Clap for the United States Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts

Today your magistrate the United States Supreme Court refused to allow a civil rights statute to violate free exercise of religion or to establish religion by the government.  In the big picture,

 Throughout our Nation’s history, religious bodies have been the preeminent example of private associations that have “act[ed] as critical buffers between the individual and the power of the State.” [Concurrence by J. Alito with J. Kagan joining]

By forbidding the “establishment of religion” and guaranteeing the “free exercise thereof,” the Religion Clauses ensured that the new Federal Government—unlike the English Crown—would have no role in filling ecclesiastical offices. The Establishment Clause prevents the Government from appointing ministers, and the Free Exercise Clause pre­vents it from interfering with the freedom of religious groups to select their own. [C. J. Roberts]

In this particular case, a woman was fired from a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod school because she threatened to sue the church. The LC-MS considered it her Christian duty to resolve that intra-church matter without involvement of the courts. She claimed she was really fired in retaliation for asserting a right under the Americans with Disabilities Act that applied to her because she had narcolepsy. So the clash was between a church’s personnel decision and an alleged disability right. Continue reading


Filed under Church and State, Courts, Free exercise of religion