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Constitutional Law

2013

First Amendment

Maurer School of Law: Indiana University

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The Sins Of Hosanna-Tabor, Leslie Griffin Jul 2013

The Sins Of Hosanna-Tabor, Leslie Griffin

Indiana Law Journal

The Supreme Court has lost sight of individual religious freedom. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC, the Court for the first time recognized the ministerial exception, a court-created doctrine that holds that the First Amendment requires the dismissal of many employment discrimination cases against religious employers. The Court ruled unanimously that Cheryl Perich, an elementary school teacher who was fired after she tried to return to school from disability leave, could not pursue an antidiscrimination lawsuit against her employer.

This Article criticizes Hosanna-Tabor as a profound misinterpretation of the First Amendment. The Court mistakenly protected religious institutions’ religious ...