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Archdiocese for Military Services Vindicated In MSPB Claim

Stradley represents the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, which serves as the “ecclesiastical endorser” for chaplains in military bases, Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and foreign service sites around the globe. The Military Services and the VA ask religious “endorsers” to vouch for chaplain candidates who, on hiring, become government employees.  A chaplain recently discharged by the VA filed before the Merit Systems Protection Board, which in prosecution of that claim was asked to subpoena certain records and testimony from the Archdiocese concerning internal Archdiocesan information. 

Stradley resisted the discovery arguing that any ecclesiastical process was off limits in the civil arena under the First Amendment. After briefing and a hearing, our team was victorious, and the Administrative Law Judge agreed to quash the requested subpoena in a short but definitive order vindicating the Archdiocese on every point.

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