Congressman Scolds NLRB for Violating Catholic Colleges’ Religious Freedom
During this morning’s U.S. House of Representatives hearing on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) intrusion into higher education, Congressman Phil Roe, M.D., (Tenn.-1) issued a statement excoriating the NLRB for its unconstitutional harassment of Catholic colleges and universities.
Congressman Roe is chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, part of the Education and the Workforce Committee, which co-sponsored today’s hearing. His statement reads in part:
Perhaps most disturbing is the NLRB’s growing challenge to religious freedom. Over the last year, the NLRB applied an invasive test to determine whether three Catholic universities were “religious enough” to be exempt from federal labor law. It is simply unacceptable to allow the NLRB to judge whether a private academic institution has sufficient religious character. A court has outlined a clear standard to determine whether federal labor law applies to an institution that professes a religious faith, a standard that adheres to Supreme Court precedent and the First Amendment. It is time the NLRB applied the court’s standard and ended the uncertainty facing religious institutions.
The Cardinal Newman Society has been the leading voice opposing what is, in fact, a long history at the NLRB of violating the First Amendment in order to assert jurisdiction over Catholic colleges and universities. Three Catholic colleges are appealing NLRB rulings that they are insufficiently religious to qualify for exemption from NLRB oversight. But an extensive study by The Cardinal Newman Society, titled “The NLRB’s Assault on Religious Liberty,” explains that the NLRB has repeatedly violated rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.