From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Stated Clerk Files Amicus Curiae Briefs

Date 04 May 1996 19:49:41


95418        Stated Clerk Files Amicus Curiae Briefs 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--General Assembly stated clerk the Rev. James E. Andrews 
has filed amicus curiae briefs in court cases in Wisconsin and Texas.  Both 
briefs were filed Nov. 1. 
     In the Texas case, United States Catholic Conference and National 
Conference of Catholic Bishops v.  The Honorable Anne Ashby, Andrews argued 
that the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits secular courts from 
instructing a church on what its own polity means. 
     Judge Ashby is presiding over a misconduct case involving a Roman 
Catholic priest.  She has asked the two Roman Catholic agencies to turn 
over all their files to the plaintiffs in the case.  The church agencies 
are arguing that to do so would violate church polity and structure. 
Andrews' brief supported the church's contention. 
     The Wisconsin case, State of Wisconsin v. Miller, involves the state's 
insistence that the Amish display slow-moving vehicle emblems on their 
horse-drawn buggies.  The Amish community has objected to such a 
requirement on the grounds that it violates their religious beliefs.  Using 
the Religous Freedom Restoration Act in their defense, the Amish contend 
that they can provide the same safety standard by using reflectors on their 
     Andrews' brief did not speak to the merits of the case but expressed 
support for the constitutionality of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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