Friday, December 12, 2008

Court Dismisses Rabbi's Breach of Contract Claim On 1st Amendment Grounds

In Friedlander v. Port Jewish Center, (ED NY, Dec. 8, 2008), a New York federal district court dismissed a breach of contract claim brought by a rabbi against her congregation. Rabbi Ariel Friedlander was fired by her congregation after members complained about a number of things, most relating to the manner in which she conducted religious services and life cycle events. The court held that deciding the case would unduly entangle it in a religious dispute: "Here, adjudicating the Plaintiff’s claim would ... necessarily require the Court to review the Plaintiff’s performance of her rabbinical duties. This is precisely the type of inquiry that the First Amendment prohibits." [Thanks to Volokh Conspiracy for the lead.]