CA Supreme Court Rules for Episcopal Church, Diocese
jeffbhassler at gmail.com
Mon Jan 5 11:57:05 PST 2009
The opinion is here:
LA Times coverage here:
Based on a hurried reading, I think the majority's opinion only serves to
further muddy the waters between the "neutral principles" and "hierarchical
deference"/"principle of government" approaches.
What will be interesting to see is whether other states that have cited
earlier California decisions (especially *Barker*) as a basis for applying
normal trust law to religious organizations will now reconsider. The
majority says it is not overruling *Barker* but that it doesn't apply
because at the time of *Barker*, the national church had not adopted its
denominational trust clause. That would seem to kill any viability
*Barker*has, since such clauses have now been on the books for more
than 25 years.
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