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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Breyer is on Fire!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have found the one man in the world who really understands the Missouri Synod! (see below in bold).

+HRC

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Did you say -- did I
understand you before, in response to Justice Sotomayor
and Justice Scalia, that even if she were merely a
contract teacher, the fact that she teaches religion
classes would be enough for her to qualify for the
ministerial exception?

MR. LAYCOCK: Yes. And the fact that she's
a commissioned minister is the clincher in this case.
Teaching -­

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Is the clincher in this
case, but even -- I think you answered if she were not a
commissioned minister, she's teaching the faith,
therefore she can be fired, and it doesn't matter
whether she's commissioned, so the commission is
irrelevant. It's -- it's her job duties that count?

MR. LAYCOCK: Job duties are enough.
Commission is not irrelevant. It is the clincher.


JUSTICE ["Follow the Money"] GINSBURG: Well, it was certainly
for some purposes, I mean, if every teacher who teaches
religion and math and a lot of other things said, I'm a
minister and I'm entitled to the parsonage allowance on
my income tax return, certainly that's something that a
government agent would review.

MR. LAYCOCK: Well, they do review it there.
I think they -- I don't think the Lutherans have any
problems with the IRS on that. But yes, that is a
context where they review these questions.

----

JUSTICE BREYER: Well, suppose that that's a
central tenet. Suppose you have a religion and the
central tenet is: You have a problem with what we do,
go to the synod; don't go to court. And that applies to
civil actions of all kinds. All right? So would that
not be protected by the First Amendment?
Pr. H. R.1 Comment