The Second Circuit Court has said that a hospital in New York is absolutely allowed to discriminate if they want to discriminate because the court says that it’s within their religious right to discriminate in certain situations. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Peter Mougey discuss this issue.

Transcript:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Second Circuit Court has said that a hospital in New York is absolutely allowed to discriminate if they want to discriminate because the court says that it’s within their religious right to discriminate in certain situations. What is the certain situation that the court said …

Peter Mougey:                    It’s called this ministerial exception. So essentially it’s a hospital that has … We’ve all seen them, Catholic hospitals and Methodist hospitals. In this case it was a Methodist hospital and it was a preacher. And so the hospitals can promote people from their own religious sect, so a Methodist, Catholic, over other people and the protection about race and religion in the workplace don’t necessarily apply.

This exception swallows it up and says, “yeah, you can promote Methodists in a Methodist hospital, you can promote Catholics in a Catholic hospital”. So this pastor brought suit and said you’re discriminating against me and it was dismissed.

Mike Papantonio:             Well the Supreme Court says you can do it. The Supreme Court says you’re able to discriminate. It’s called a ministerial right and in ministerial right, the way it works is they have an exemption, they have total exemption on discrimination.

Peter Mougey:                    Bad facts, bad law. And the knock on this decision was that they interpreted it too broadly but this was a minister out of the Department of Pastoral Care and it’s exactly what it was designed to do and the commentary on this case was the exception was too broad.

Mike Papantonio:             Ministers cannot bring employment discrimination claims against the religious organization that employs them. That’s the standard of law right now. And you know, to get there from a standpoint of a court saying we’re going to make an exception for discrimination, a lot of political input has to come there and you can imagine what the Church did to accomplish this.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.