We Filed Two Supreme Court Briefs This Week, Supporting Religious Missions’ and Religious Colleges’ Freedom to Hire

September 7, 2021 | No comments | Posted in Uncategorized | Tags:

The Independence Law Center filed two amicus briefs today at the US Supreme Court on behalf of two religious organizations advocating for their freedom to hire staff that both agree with their religious beliefs and who seek to live consistent with those beliefs.

In Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission v. Woods, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that religious nonprofits and houses of worship can no longer hire all their employees based on whether the employee agrees with their religious beliefs and seeks to live consistent with them.

The court disagreed with the Mission’s religious beliefs on matters of sexual behavior and thus jumped statutory and constitutional hurdles to ensure that ideological opponents could co-opt non-ministerial positions and undermine the Mission’s religious teachings. Unless the US Supreme Court intervenes, anyone will be able to demand a job while contradicting a religious organization’s core beliefs, and faith-based nonprofits will lose their autonomy to freely associate without state interference.

We filed an amicus brief on behalf of Grace Youth and Family Foundation in Butler, Pa. asking the Supreme Court to take up the case to clarify that the First Amendment protects religious organizations’ constitutional right to hire coreligionists.

In Gordon College v. DeWeese-Boyd, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that Christian colleges must make hiring decisions contrary to their religious mission. We filed an amicus brief on behalf of Classical Christian Schools, various member schools, and New Saint Andrews College, asking the Supreme Court to take up the case to clarify that employees of a Christian educational institution are vital messengers of that institution’s religious beliefs.

We thank allied attorney Deborah Dewart, who assisted us with both Briefs.

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