Thread: SCOTAL Itch
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:12 AM
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Stephen Maturin Stephen Maturin is offline
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Originally Posted by D. Scarlatti View Post
I'm looking forward to the it's-a-free-exercise-of-religion-to-fire-a-disabled-employee case.

And yes, firing a disabled employee is indeed a free exercise of religion:

Requiring a church to accept or retain an unwanted minister, or punishing a church for failing to do so, intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs. By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the Free Exercise Clause, which protects a religious groupís right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments. According the state the power to determine which individuals will minister to the faithful also violates the Establishment Clause, which prohibits government involvement in such ecclesiastical decisions.
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC at 13-14 (pdf, 39 pages).

The vote was 9-0. The Court had no trouble deciding that the fired employee in this case was a "minister" for purposes of this constitutionally-mandated exception to employment discrimination laws, but declined to establish definitive criteria for use in other cases. Thomas would require that courts defer to the churches on that issue.
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