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Labor redoubles assault on Catholic colleges


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labor-redoubles-assault-on-catholic-colleges
Washington Times:

When federal agents ruled for a second time this year that a Catholic college cannot claim First Amendment protection from federal labor laws, they brazenly ignored instructions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and set up a potential Supreme Court confrontation.

On May 26, the Chicago regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declared that St. Xavier University, a Catholic institution established by the Sisters of Mercy, was not sufficiently religious to be exempt from federal jurisdiction. The ruling came just four months after a similar ruling against the Christian Brothers’ Manhattan College, which has appealed to the national board for a reversal.

It’s doubtful Manhattan can get a favorable ruling from the union-friendly NLRB, but if the college then appeals to the District's federal court, it is likely to prevail.

That’s because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District has twice already ordered the NLRB to cease harassing religious colleges and universities. In 2002 and 2008 rulings, the court reversed the NLRB and exempted religious institutions from requirements of the National Labor Relations Act.

Citing the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in NLRBv. CatholicBishopofChicago, etal., which exempted Catholic parochial schools from NLRB oversight, the court found that the NLRB’s extensive evaluations of whether colleges are substantially religious are precisely “the sort of intrusive inquiry that CatholicBishopsought to avoid.” The Supreme Court had found that NLRB jurisdiction over Catholic schools “will necessarily involve inquiry into the good faith of the position asserted by the clergy administrators and its relationship to the schools’ religious mission. … It is not only the conclusions that may be reached by the Board which may impinge on rights guaranteed by the Religion Clauses, but also the very process of inquiry leading to findings and conclusions.”snip
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