Ep. 20: Supreme Court in July!

Jul 16, 2020

The doctrine of the “ministerial exception” and the latest installment in the ongoing saga of challenges to the contraceptive mandate capped off this year’s Supreme Court term. Amanda and Holly give their analysis of those key cases impacting religious liberty and discuss how they interact with other decisions from this blockbuster year. In this season finale, Amanda and Holly also look back at our entire season of Respecting Religion and invite you to continue the conversation.

Segment 1: The ministerial exception decision (Starting at 00:40)

Amanda mentioned this New York Times article rounding up this year’s Supreme Court term by Adam Liptak: In a Term Full of Major Cases, the Supreme Court Tacked to the Center.

Starting at 4:47, the cases regarding the “ministerial exception” are Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel. You can read Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion and the concurrence and dissents at this link.

Amanda and Holly talked about oral arguments in the case on Episode 13: Who’s a ‘minister’ and who gets to decide?

Learn more about the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor decision that was a precursor to the latest ministerial exception cases at BJConline.org/hosanna-tabor.

Read Holly’s statement on the decision in this post on BJC’s website.

Read Amanda’s Twitter thread reacting to both decisions issued the same day at this link.

Holly and Amanda discussed the decision in the Title VII cases in Episode 17: A landmark case for LGBTQ rights: What’s next for religious liberty?

Read and listen to the NPR story by Tom Gjelten that featured Holly Hollman: Recent SCOTUS Decisions On Religion Open Up New Questions.


Segment 2: The contraceptive mandate decision (starting at 22:47)

The Trump v. Pennsylvania case regarding the contraceptive mandate was consolidated with Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania. You can read the decision by Justice Clarence Thomas and the concurring and dissenting opinions at this link.

Amanda and Holly talked about the oral arguments in this case in Episode 12: Not a charm: Contraceptive mandate returns to the Supreme Court for the third time.

The “Affordable Care Act” is often referred to as the “ACA.”

Holly mentioned BJC’s brief with Professor Douglas Laycock in the Zubik v. Burwell case – learn more about that and read the brief at BJConline.org/Zubik.

For more on this case, including reaction from Holly, read this post on BJC’s website.

Segment 3: Looking back at season one (starting at 37:13)

See a list of all 20 episodes of season 1 of Respecting Religion by visiting BJConline.org/RespectingReligion.


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