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Supreme Court sides with Catholic schools in employment suit

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16: An overcast sky hangs above the U.S. Supreme Court on December 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Court is expected to release additional orders from the conference that was held last week. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images via CNN)

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.

It’s the latest case to come before the court exploring the relationship between church and state.

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