Should The Government Be Allowed To Intervene In Church Hires

03.29.11 | Sarah Harnisch

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on employment discrimination within the Christian church. The court agreed Monday to hear an appeal in the case of a narcoleptic teacher who sued a Christian school for discrimination based on disability. Cheryl Perich was a full-time teacher at Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Mich, but was terminated after she was diagnosed with narcolpsy. She filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, citing discrimination. The first court ruled in Perich's favor, but the second court reversed the decision in the school's favor, saying the school qualified for an exception to the disabilties act because it was a religious institution. Now the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to decide whether the church has full power to hire and fire. Luke Goodrich, Deputy National Litigation Director at the Becket Fund, is confident that the high court will rule in the school's favor. He said, "the court will reject the idea that judges should be telling churches who will teach the faith to the next generation. The government doesn't get to pick religious teachers."