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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

The Catholic Bishop Case

Volume 3 . Chapter 8, Part 3 . § 8-12.6
Key Point 8-12.6 In the Catholic Bishop case the United States Supreme Court ruled that the National Labor Relations Act did not apply to churchaffiliated schools. The court applied the following test, known as the Catholic Bishop test: First, determine if the application of the NLRA to a religious organization would give rise to serious constitutional questions under the First Amendment. Second, if a serious constitutional question would arise, then the NLRA cannot be applied without a showing of an "affirmative intention of the Congress clearly expressed" that it does apply. Third, if serious constitutional questions would not arise, then no inquiry is necessary as to whether Congress clearly expressed an intention for the law to apply. This ...

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