Those Catholic colleges and universities that sought their independence from the Mother Church back in the 1960s may want to seek its protective custody now. “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,” Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society wrote in The Washington Times on June 8, 2011. “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.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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