The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a major religious liberty case Wednesday that could impact the hiring practices of religious organizations.

The case, Hosanna-Tabor v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, concerns whether a church-based school has freedom from federal oversight in hiring and firing decisions.

“Critics sometimes complain that the court’s religion-related decisions bog down in trivia — How close are the reindeer and snowmen to the Baby Jesus in the holiday display?” wrote Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett in USA Today. “But this case … is about a big idea, the ‘separation of church and state,’ that really matters.”

The religious freedom principle behind the case is crucial, but the circumstances of the case complicate the matter, and religious freedom advocates acknowledge that the teacher suing the school in question may win in the court of public opinion.

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