Justices Bless Broad 'Ministerial Exception' For Employers

Law360 (July 8, 2020, 10:11 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday took a broad view of a legal doctrine that shields religious employers from anti-discrimination laws, saying the First Amendment bars secular courts from hearing bias suits by two Catholic school teachers because they performed "vital" religious duties.

The justices by a 7-2 vote reversed a pair of similar Ninth Circuit rulings that revived age and disability discrimination suits lodged against two Catholic schools by elementary school teachers.

The schools had each asked the justices to clarify when the so-called ministerial exception — a decades-old legal doctrine that shields religious employers from certain workers' claims —...

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