Attorney General Todd Rokita asks U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Religious Liberty
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
As part of a 15-state coalition, Attorney General Todd Rokita has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the rights of churches to practice and teach religious beliefs free from government interference.
At issue is the First Amendment right of a Virginia church to define who is a minister under its own religious doctrine. New Life in Christ Church is seeking Supreme Court review of a recent ruling by a Virginia state court that denied a tax exemption to the church’s parsonage based on the government’s interpretation of the church’s religious doctrine.
In the Kentucky-led amicus brief, the states argue that historically the U.S. Supreme Court has reserved the right to make ecclesiastical decisions and interpret religious doctrine to the faith community.
The Supreme Court, the brief states, “has repeatedly reaffirmed the simple rule that courts should defer to the judgment of religious authorities when adjudicating disputes that turn on ecclesiastical questions.”
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