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NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago

Supreme Court of the United States

October 30, 1978, Argued ; March 21, 1979, Decided

No. 77-752


 [*491]  [***535]  [**1314]    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

 This case arises out of the National Labor Relations Board's exercise  [***536]  of jurisdiction over lay faculty members at two groups of Catholic high schools. We granted certiorari to consider two questions: (a) Whether teachers in schools operated by a church to teach both religious and secular subjects are within the jurisdiction granted by the National Labor Relations Act; and (b) if the Act authorizes such jurisdiction, does its exercise violate the guarantees of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment? 434 U.S. 1061 (1978).

 [*492]  I

One group of schools is operated by the Catholic Bishop of Chicago, a corporation sole; the other group is operated by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc. The group operated by the Catholic Bishop of Chicago consists of two schools, Quigley North and Quigley South. 2 Those schools are termed "minor [****4]  seminaries" because of their role in educating high school students who may become priests. At one time, only students who manifested a positive and confirmed desire to be priests were admitted to  [**1315]  the Quigley schools. In 1970, the requirement was changed so that students admitted to these schools need not show a definite inclination toward the priesthood. Now the students need only be recommended by their parish priest as having a potential for the priesthood or for Christian leadership. The schools continue to provide special religious instruction not offered in other Catholic secondary schools. The Quigley schools also offer essentially the same college-preparatory curriculum as public secondary schools. Their students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities which include secular as well as religious events. The schools are recognized by the State and accredited by a regional educational organization. 3

 [****5]  The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Inc., has five high schools. 4 Unlike the Quigley schools, the special recommendation  [*493]  of a priest is not a prerequisite for admission. Like the Quigley schools, however, these high schools seek to provide a traditional secular education but oriented to the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith; religious training is also mandatory. These schools are similarly certified by the State. 5

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440 U.S. 490 *; 99 S. Ct. 1313 **; 59 L. Ed. 2d 533 ***; 1979 U.S. LEXIS 75 ****; 85 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P11,163; 100 L.R.R.M. 2913



Disposition:  559 F.2d 1112, affirmed.


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Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Constitutionality of Legislation, General Overview, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Religion, Establishment of Religion, Education Law, Religion in Schools, Establishment Clause Protections, Free Exercise of Religion, Bill of Rights, Healthcare Law, Business Administration & Organization, Employment Issues, Collective Bargaining & Labor Unions, Tax Law, Federal Taxpayer Groups, Exempt Organizations, Charitable, Religious & Scientific Organizations, Conditions & Restrictions