01/30/2009 - During his 2008 presidential campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama said that he intended to overturn President George W. Bush’s policy of allowing faith-based groups that receive federal funding to consider a potential employee’s religion when making hiring decisions.
Although a 1972 civil rights law generally exempts religious groups from the prohibition on religious discrimination in hiring, it remains unclear whether this exemption applies when a religious group receives federal funds.
The Bush administration, which expanded the flow of federal aid to religious social-service providers, contended that religious groups always have the right to hire on the basis of religion – even when they receive federal funding. But President Obama has suggested that he disagrees with this policy.
To explore how the Obama administration might alter Bush’s policy, the Pew Forum turns to church-state scholar Ira “Chip” Lupu.
Ira “Chip” Lupu, F. Elwood and Eleanor Davis Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School
Jesse Merriam, Research Associate, The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life
Read the complete Q& A Hiring Law for Groups Following a Higher Law: Faith-Based Hiring and the Obama Administration on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's Web site.