- Accuracy In Academia - http://www.academia.org -

Will labor rulings beget Catholic Reunification?

Those Catholic colleges and universities that sought their independence from the Mother Church back in the 1960s [1] 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 [2] confrontation,” Patrick J. Reilly [3], 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 [4] (NLRB [4]) declared that St. Xavier University [5], 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 [6], which has appealed to the national board [4] for a reversal.It’s doubtful Manhattan can get a favorable ruling from the union-friendly NLRB [4], but if the college [6] then appeals to the District’s federal court [7], it is likely to prevail.”

“That’s because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District has twice already ordered the NLRB [4] to cease harassing religious colleges and universities. In 2002 and 2008 rulings, the court [7] reversed the NLRB [4] and exempted religious institutions from requirements of the National Labor Relations Act.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [8].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [9]