Press Release

Catholic school goes to court to defend its right to choose its religious leaders Despite unanimous Supreme Court protecting right, New York Catholic school faces lawsuit

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of lawyers is trying to roll back the clock, ignoring  U.S. Supreme Court precedent in the process and attempting to insert government in a church school’s right to choose their faith leaders.

On Tuesday, March 7, Becket will defend St. Anthony’s School, a Catholic school, and the Archdiocese of New York from a group of attorneys arguing that the school had no right to choose another principal they felt would best promote the church’s teachings. But religious schools have already won this fight: just five years ago the Supreme Court unanimously protected a Lutheran school’s right to choose teachers free from government intrusion, and that ruling applies even more clearly in this case involving a Catholic school principal. The attorney suing the school has publicly accused the Catholic Church in court of being “dangerous to society,” alleged Russian Orthodox churches were “indoctrinating children with Stalinist communism,” and attacked the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision as an aid to “potential jihadists.”

Oral Argument for Fratello v. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at Becket

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007

Becket attorneys will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


Becketis a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditionsand has a 100% win-rate before the United StatesSupreme Court.For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, includingBuddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians(read more).