The Supreme Court hears arguments on the ‘ministerial exception’

Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote for

The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments yesterday in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey Berru, the second religious freedom case before the court in as many weeks. At issue in this case is whether the First Amendment’s religious protections allow for courts to interfere with a religious organization’s employment decisions when the employee performs religious duties.

Yesterday’s arguments were focused on the scope of what is known as the “ministerial exception” to employment-discrimination laws. As Amy Howe explains, “Eight years ago, in a case called Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, the Supreme Court recognized a ‘ministerial exception’ to employment discrimination laws, reflecting the idea that religious institutions normally have the sole right to determine who can act as their ministers.”