The Supreme Court has just issued its opinion in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court reversed the 6th Circuit and held that Cheryl Perich, a "called" teacher at the Hosanna-Tabor school, was a "minister" and thus her suit was barred under the so-called "ministerial exception" (which generally exempts religious organizations from anti-discrimination laws in employment decisions relating to persons who serve in a "ministerial" role). Though the ministerial exception had universal acceptance amongst the lower courts, this actually marked the first time the Supreme Court had officially ratified its existence.
The opinion itself (written by Chief Justice Roberts) is extremely, almost comically, narrow, refusing to go much beyond a determination that Ms. Perich was a "minister" for purpose of the exception, and thus that her suit was barred. It didn't give much, if any, of a standard for how to determine if a given person counts as a minister, and even was cagey over which sorts of suits are barred by the exception. Justice Thomas' concurrence was a little more concrete, saying that courts should simply defer to a religious body's good-faith determination regarding who was playing a ministerial role, and Justice Alito (joined by Justice Kagan) cautioned against relying too heavily on whether a person went through any formal ordination process (as many religions do not have such procedures).
Faithful readers may remember I gave a brief talk on this case as part of a panel at the law school. I am pleased to report that, like any self-respecting constitutional law professor, my prediction (an affirmance on narrow grounds) was completely off the mark.