Wednesday, December 24, 2014
An unfortunate verdict in Indiana and more ministerial-exception fights to come
I have blogged before (here and here) about the Herx case, which involves a discrimination lawsuit brought against the Catholic Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend by a Catholic school teacher who was fired after she underwent in vitro fertilization. In my view, the case (and others like it) should have been dismissed on ministerial-exception grounds. As I see it, teachers in Catholic parochial schools -- whether or not they "teach religion" and whether or not they are ordained -- are "ministerial" employees for purposes of the constitutional rule.
Unfortunately, the case was permitted to go to trial and the jury awarded nearly $2 million (more here). The Diocese, apparently, will appeal and I hope the Seventh Circuit will apply the Court's Hosanna-Tabor decision in a way that is consistent with that decision's rationale and animating concerns.