From the National Law Journal:
A Michigan trial judge will decide that next week in a controversial employment dispute involving Ave Maria School of Law, which is trying to declare law professors as ministers to avoid a wrongful termination suit from proceeding.
In the latest twist to the two-year-old suit filed in state court by a three former professors, Tom Monaghan, the school’s founder and financier, filed a motion last month claiming that the law professors are “ministerial.” Therefore, he argues, because the school is a religious institution, the administration over these minister-professors is exempt from civil trial court under the “Establishment and Free Exercise of religious clauses of the First Amendment.”
Monaghan also claims that the institution is eligible for “ecclesiastical abstention,” requiring courts to “abstain from inquiring into, or interfering with, governance of the religious institution.”
Read the whole thing here.