KANT V. LEXINGTON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT, 2013)

At issue in this case is whether the "ecclesiastical matter" bar or the ministerial exception defense would act to bar a Jewish professor's breach-of-contract claim against the Christian theological seminary at which he had tenure for terminating his employment because of a financial emergency. ADL argued that neither the "ecclesiastical matter" bar nor the ministerial exception defense would bar a breach-of-contract claim. Religious organizations, like their secular counterparts, are always free to bargain with their employees for certain contractual protections and thus avail themselves to the neutral principles of contract law. But, having done so, they are not free to demand from government a special exemption from the legal consequences of those bargains.