From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Stated Clerk Files Amicus Briefs
04 May 1996 20:36:46
96038 Stated Clerk Files Amicus Briefs
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly stated clerk
the Rev. James E. Andrews has filed amicus briefs in court cases in
Minnesota and New York.
The Minnesota case revolves around some retired Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA) ministers who have challenged the ELCA's
investment strategy barring investments in then apartheid South Africa.
The case, Basich v. ELCA, is currently before the Minnesota Supreme Court
after an appellate court ruled that the church has the right to impose
theologically driven conditions upon their pension fund investors.
Andrews also filed an amicus brief supporting the church when the case
was before the appellate court. In his brief, Andrews argued that "no
secular court has jurisdiction in matters relating to church polity." In
this particular case, he continued, "Although the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) has a different polity, like the [ELCA] its pension funds are
managed by a separate entity and like the [ELCA] the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) supports the application of investment criteria consistent with
its teachings and religious principles."
In Long Island Gynecological Services v. 1103 Stewart Avenue
Associates Andrews joined an amicus brief supporting the medical clinic's
position that its landlord, 1103 Stewart Avenue Associates, could not evict
the clinic for performing abortions on its premises when the landlord had
explicit knowledge of such abortions when they purchased the building
occupied by the clinic.
1103 Stewart Avenue Associates sought to evict the clinic after it was
targeted for harassment and protests by anti-abortion groups.
Andrews' brief supported the constitutional right of the clinic to
provide abortions to women desiring them. He affirmed the Presbyterian
Church's longstanding position that women should have the right to make
such choices and reiterated the denomination's condemnation of violent
behavior directed toward clinics and patients.
(Information for this story was furnished by the Rev. Mark A. Tammen of the
department of constitutional services in the Office of the General
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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