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Date: 03-21-2008

Case Style: Justinian Rweyemamu v. Michael Cote, Dishop of Diocese of Norwich

Case Number: 06-1041-cv

Judge: John M. Walker, Jr.

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on appeal from the District of Connecticut, New Haven County

Plaintiff's Attorney: Norman A. Pattis, Bethany, Connecticut

Defendant's Attorney: Meredith Diette, Brown Jacobson, P.C., Norwich, Connecticut

Description: Alleging that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, through its Bishop, misapplied canon law in denying him a requested promotion and, ultimately, in terminating him, Father Justinian Rweyemamu, an African-American Catholic priest, claims racial discrimination in a Title VII suit against the Bishop and the Diocese. After the district court dismissed the suit pursuant to the "ministerial exception," Father Justinian appealed. The question we must decide is whether, under the First Amendment, Title VII is unconstitutional as applied in this case. In reaching this constitutional question, we distinguish this case from our decision in Hankins v. Lyght, 441 F.3d 96, 99 (2d Cir. 2006), which held that a federal statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb, 2000bb-1 to -4, governed the merits of an age discrimination action against a church.

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http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov:8080/isysnative/RDpcT3BpbnNcT1BOXDA2LTEwNDEtY3Zfb3BuLnBkZg== /06-1041-cv_opn.pdf#xml=http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov:8080/isysquery/irl36b1/1/hilite

Outcome: The judgment of the district court is hereby AFFIRMED.

Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown

Defendant's Experts: Unknown

Comments: None

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