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Kelly v. St. Luke Community United Methodist Church

Articles Discussing Case:

Texas Court Bars Employment Claims Due to Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine

Ogletree Deakins • June 14, 2018
The ecclesiastical abstention doctrine can provide religious institutions with protection from employment-related lawsuits. Based upon the religious freedom amendments contained in the U.S. and Texas constitutions, this doctrine generally bars courts from adjudicating disputes related to the governance and operations of religious institutions. As seen in a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas, the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine can provide protection to seemingly ordinary employment decisions by religious entities.
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