July 24, 2009

Maybe an advertised "strict constructionist"

Might at least consider this formulation, which proceeds initially from the meaning of constitutional language rather than assuming as its starting point subsequent judge-made interpretations:
The Constitution protects religious exercise, and we decline to turn the Free Exercise Clause into a license for the free exercise of discrimination unmoored from religious principle. We therefore conclude that under the Free Exercise Clause the ministerial exception will not bar Title VII claims by ministerial employees when an employment decision is not motivated by religious belief, religious doctrine, or church regulation.
But no. Gableman's opinion overlooked it.
This is an issue of constitutional law ...
A rather important one.
... which we review de novo.
Or, as it turns out, the intermediate not-quite-de novo review. On the other hand, perhaps few might be surprised that prohibited discrimination is considered part and parcel of "religious exercise."

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