Press Release

Supreme Court to hear historic telephonic argument over religious schools’ right to select religion teachers Catholic schools’ important church-state case to be argued on May 11

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON  Two California Catholic elementary schools will be at the Supreme Court Monday, defending their right to pick religion teachers without interference from the governmentIn Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel, two fifth-grade teachers are suing their former employers after their annual contracts were not renewedAs fifth-grade teachers in Catholic elementary schoolsMs. Morrissey-Berru and Ms. Biel were both primary teachers of the Catholic faith for their studentsAfter concerns about the effectiveness of their teaching, observations of poor classroom management, and an unwillingness by the teachers to improve, both schools chose not to give the teachers new one-year contracts because they were not effectively carrying out the schools’ religious and educational mission. Becket argues that the government has no place interfering with the internal decisions of religious organizations about who best teaches the faith to the next generation.  

For the first time in Supreme Court history, the Court has decided to hear a handful of the previously postponed cases telephonically in the interest of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the Our Lady and St. James cases on MondayMay 11The consolidated cases will be heard beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT.   

Oral Argument in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru & St. James Catholic School v. Biel 

Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket 

Monday, May 11, 2020, 11:00 a.m. EDT 

The audio of the arguments will be accessible live via one of the C-SPAN TV networks, online via, and on the free C-SPAN Radio app 

Becket will host a press call at 1:45 p.m. EDT. 

Press Call-in:
646-876-9923 | Pin #: 930-944-5568 | or join
Email questions in advance to 

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.