Sometimes the Supreme Court makes news not in the cases it agrees to hear, but in those it chooses not hear.
That’s what happened at the start of the 2011 term when the court refused to take up the appeal of three former World Vision employees who had been fired in 2007 because they did not agree with World Vision’s U.S. statement of faith, which World Vision says is a condition of employment.
The nonprofit is the largest in the state of Washington has the right to hire or dismiss employees based on their religious affiliation. The Supreme Court, in refusing to hear the case, upheld the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which held that World Vision qualifies as a faith-based humanitarian organization and is exempt from the Civil Rights Act.
“Our Christian faith has been the foundation of our work since the organization was established in 1950, and our hiring policy is vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as followers of Jesus Christ,” said Richard Stearns, World Vision U.S. president, in a statement.
“Today’s action by the US Supreme Court represents a major victory for the freedom of all religious organisations to hire employees who share the same faith – whether Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, or any other religion,” Stearns said.
World Vision employees approximately 30,000 people around the world.
Photo from steakpinball via flickr.