Yesterday the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments brought by Catholic Charities Bureau against the Wisconsin Labor and Industrial Review Commission. The state claims the actions and services of Catholic Charities Bureau are not religious and are not part of the church’s beliefs and therefore they are not exempt from paying into the state’s unemployment compensation program.
This is a big case for our newly configured court. What this case comes down to is whether the state has the authority to determine what is a religious activity and what is not. Our organization has filed a friend of the court brief in support of the plaintiffs. If the court sides with the state, then churches may well be in the state’s crosshairs.