Supreme Court Backs Church in Religious Liberty Case


The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Wednesday that the government must stay out of any hiring and firing decisions by any religious organization, even if it’s due to discrimination.

The case came about from the firing of a Michigan teacher, Cheryl Perich. Perich was a minister at a school run by the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 2004 she went on disability due to her narcolepsy. The congregation decided to pay a portion Perich’s health insurance in exchange for her resignation. Perich refused to step down and was in turn notified that she would be fired.

After consulting a lawyer, Perich told the school that she contacted the federal Equal Employement Opportunity Commission, which filed a suit arguing that Perich’s termination was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment prohibit the government from interfering in the decision of a religious group: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Roberts also states that it is the interest of religious groups to choose who will breach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission. He ends with saying, “The Church must be free to choose who will guide it on its way”.

Source: ABC News