In a case involving a teacher fired by an Evangelical Lutheran school in Michigan, President Obama’s Justice Department climbed way out on a limb in arguing that the teacher could sue for the loss of her job. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court took a sharp saw to that branch.
It’s not every day that you find this court reaching a unanimous verdict, with liberals and conservatives in agreement. It’s not every day that the notably liberal Justice Elena Kagan signs onto an opinion by the famously conservative Samuel Alito. But that’s what happened this time.
In her job at the school, Cheryl Perich taught secular subjects like math and social studies, but as a “called teacher,” she also taught religion classes and led students in prayers. After she came down with an illness that required her to take a medical leave, the school declined to take her back. She responded by filing a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, claiming illegal discrimination.