SCOTUS: Parochial school teachers not covered by federal employment laws

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The Contemplation of Justice statue stands outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with two Catholic schools in a ruling that underscores that certain employees of religious schools, hospitals and social service centers can’t sue for employment discrimination.

The high court’s ruling on Wednesday was 7-2.

The justices had previously said in a unanimous 2012 decision that the Constitution prevents ministers from suing their churches for employment discrimination.

The justices said then that the Constitution’s required separation between church and state means that religious groups must be allowed to hire and fire individuals who serve as teachers or messengers of their faith, without court interference.

But the court didn’t rigidly define who counts as a minister.

Tuesday’s case was one of 10 the high court heard arguments in by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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