9a to 1p
The constitutional question of this Supreme Court case was the following: “Is Cheryl Perich a minister?” If Cheryl Perich is not a minister then all federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws protect her even if her employer is religious.
The Hosanna-Tabor case was about a teacher, Cheryl Perich, whose job was to teach secular subjects as well as some religious teaching. At first, she was not hired as a real teacher but after taking education courses she became a qualified teacher. Her job was pretty much the same before and after she became qualified however. Later, Perich began to fall sick from narcolepsy and left the school for medical reasons. When she returned months later, the church told her that her job was unavailable and she could not return. Perich wasn’t having that, so she threatened to sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying that the church should have worked with her so that she could keep her job. Instead of scaring them into giving her the job back, it just made it harder for her to get it. The church said that if she sued them then she would no longer be welcome as an employee because they believe that all disputes should be resolved peacefully. They said that she failed to take advantage of an internal procedure, rather than court. However, they never told Perich about this “internal procedure” until after she had mentioned her intent to use the ADA.
When Justice Ginsburg if it was in the handbook, the church’s representative, Professor Douglas Laycock, completely dodged the question, saying that the handbook was irrelevant. So basically he knew they were wrong. He just didn’t want to admit it so they wouldn’t lose the case.
I think that Cheryl Perich will win this case primarily because she was not a minister, only a teacher, which means she has all the laws by her side. The church has none except that you cannot sue the church. However, she was not suing the church, she was suing the employers. Also, the church’s story was backwards and there were some questions they refused to answer or tried to dodge because they knew they were wrong. It’s obvious, so they’re going to lose.