When one religious school wins, they all do

When one religious school wins, they all do

When one religious school wins, they all do

An attorney says the New Jersey Supreme Court made the right decision in a case that could affect religious schools and organizations throughout the nation.

In Crisitello v. St. Theresa School, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Catholic school that fired a teacher who broke her agreement to uphold Church teachings. In short, the court protected the ability of religious schools to make key choices about matters of faith, doctrine, and internal governance.

Rassbach, Eric (Becket) Rassbach

"I would argue that the implications are even broader and have a nationwide scope as well in the sense that the way that this decision is reasoned will have a persuasive effect on other courts in other states," comments Becket attorney Eric Rassbach.

In 2013, the school, which is part of the Archdiocese of Newark, did not offer Victoria Crisitello a new contract because she conceived a child out of wedlock, violating her contract with the school that is based on Catholic teaching.

In April, Becket was asked to intervene in the case on behalf of Agudath Israel of America, a national organization that represents the interests of many Orthodox Jewish schools in New Jersey, as it expected to be impacted by the court decision.

"That's why this case is very important to them, and that's why we intervened in the case on their behalf," Rassbach relays. "The New Jersey Supreme Court ended up having us argue part of the case because of the importance of it to this particular community."

He calls the court's decision a victory for all religious schools.