Episcopal Church v. Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Pending petition

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Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
20-536 Tex. TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of petitioners in this case.

Issues: (1) Whether the First Amendment requires courts to enforce express trusts in church governing documents (as some jurisdictions hold, in line with Jones v. Wolf's first safeguard), or whether state law may render such trusts unenforceable (as others hold); (2) whether the First Amendment requires courts to defer to churches on questions of polity (as some jurisdictions hold, in line with Jones’ second safeguard), or whether courts may apply state law to determine the structure of a church (as others hold); and (3) whether the neutral-principles approach may constitutionally be applied — either prospectively or retroactively — to resolve church-property disputes.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding)
Oct 19 2020Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due November 23, 2020)
Nov 16 2020Motion to extend the time to file a response from November 23, 2020 to December 23, 2020, submitted to The Clerk.
Nov 17 2020Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is extended to and including December 23, 2020.
Nov 23 2020Amicus brief of The Rutherford Institute submitted.
Nov 23 2020Amicus brief of General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church, Moravian Church in America, General Synod of the United Church of Christ submitted.
 
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