Email: email@example.comTelephone: (310) 201-2100Facsimile: (310) 201-2110
BIRD, MARELLA, BOXER, WOLPERT, NESSIM, DROOKS & LINCENBERG, P.C., JEREMY D.MATZ, Counsel of Record, JESSICA KORNBERG, Los Angeles, California.
[*i]INTERESTS: [*1] STATEMENT OF INTEREST
n1n1 Pursuant to Rule 37(6), counsel for
certify that no counsel for a party authored this brief in wholeor in part, and no counsel or party made a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submissionof this brief. No person other than
or their counsel made a monetary contribution to its preparationor submission. Consent to the filing of this brief was sought from the parties pursuant to Sup. Ct. Rule 37, butonly Petitioner consented. Counsel of record for all parties received notice, at least ten days prior to the due dateof this brief, of
intention to file this brief.
are two membership organizations and two individuals. The Queens Federation of Churches is comprised of 390 Christian congregations in the borough of Queens, New York. The National Council of Churches of Christ iscomprised of more than 100,000 congregations nationwide, including some 45 million congregants. Brandon Marionand Craig Jensen have each been practicing members of the Church of Scientology for more than 30 years.
faiths in some ways have little in common with each other. But all
agree that the California limitationon the penitent-clergy privilege, if upheld, will disrupt their ability to engage in their customary religious practices.Specifically, the membership organization
include hundreds of congregations whose clergy regularly share witheach other the concerns and communications of their penitents --a common religious practice known as "clergyconsultation." The rationale of the California decision would destroy the confidentiality normally guaranteed to
penitent-clergy communications whenever these congregations engage in such clergy consultations, therebydisadvantaging these congregations in comparison to those that do not regularly engage in clergy consultation.Similarly, the California decision topples the twin pillars of the individual
religious tradition, namely, theiraccess to confidential spiritual monitoring and the guarantee that such monitoring is perfectly consistent withChurch-wide methodology.For these reasons,
support certiorari in this case because the decision of the California Superior Court isdeeply inconsistent with the core First Amendment principles of denominational neutrality and free religious exercise.
TITLE: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AND AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE NATIONALCOUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST, THE QUEENS FEDERATION OF CHURCHES, BRANDONMARION, AND CRAIG JENSEN, AMICI CURIAE, IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERSUMMARY OF ARGUMENT
The California Superior Court applied
Roman Catholic Archbishop of L.A. v. Superior Court
32 Cal. Rptr. 3d 209(2005),
to limit the scope of the protection afforded by California's penitent-clergy privilege. Specifically, the SuperiorCourt -- believing itself bound by
-- held that the privilege does not exist if a confidentialpenitential communication is divulged to anyone else beyond the single clergy person who
first receives it -- evenincluding other clergy in the same congregation or faith. In so holding, the Superior Court created a cleardenominational preference in favor of religions
that do not engage in clergy consultation regarding penitentcommunications. This denominational preference violates long-established protections under both the Free Exercise andPage 22012 U.S. Briefs 1495, *1; 2013 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 3099, **1