Supreme Court Recognizes ‘Ministerial Exception’

Supreme Court Recognizes 'Ministerial Exception' to Employment-Discrimination Laws – Faculty – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In a decision with major implications for church-affiliated colleges and their employees, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held today that the First Amendment precludes the application of federal employment-discrimination laws to religious institutions’ personnel decisions involving workers with religious duties.

Many federal appeals courts and state courts had previously declared that there exists a “ministerial exception” to employment-discrimination laws rooted in the First Amendment’s clauses protecting religious freedom. Today’s ruling, however, is the first in which the Supreme Court formally recognized the “ministerial exception” as legal doctrine.

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