From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Stated Clerk Files Amicus Briefs

Date 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   Web page: 


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