Jenner & Block

March 21, 2014 Albert Jenner Argues before Supreme Court on Behalf of Serbian Diocese

 

Albert Jenner successfully represented the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the United States and America in a dispute between the Diocese and a defrocked bishop.  The matter dated back to 1964, when the Mother Church, based in Yugoslavia, defrocked Bishop Dionisije Milivojevich, based in Libertyville.  Bishop Dionisije sued, seeking to have the courts declare him the “true diocesan bishop” of the undivided diocese.  The Illinois Supreme Court sided with the bishop, determining that the Mother Church had violated its own procedures and internal regulations in defrocking him.  On this day in 1976, Bert argued on behalf of the Diocese before the U.S. Supreme Court.  On June 21, 1976, the firm secured its victory for the Diocese when the Supreme Court reversed the Illinois Supreme Court, holding that its ruling violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  “For where resolution of the disputes cannot be made without extensive inquiry by civil courts into religious law and polity,” the majority opinion read, “the First and Fourteenth Amendments mandate that civil courts shall not disturb the decisions of the highest ecclesiastical tribunal within a church of hierarchical polity, but must accept such decisions as binding on them, in their application to the religious issues of doctrine or polity before them.”

CATEGORIES: 1975-1984, A Jenner, B Graham, Bishop, Supreme Court, Video

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