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Too Many Negatives:

From Archdiocese of Washington v. Moersen, 2007 WL 1703483 (Md. June 14):

The petitioners urge that, contrary to the reasoning of the Court of Special Appeals, the Rayburn primary duties test does not mean that, "participation alone [is] not enough." We do not agree.

The context helps, but not a lot (emphasis added):

It is not enough to say that Moersen's music is central to the church's method of worship; it would be just as easy to say that the manufacturer of the organ contributes to the church's worship, or that the people involved in the upkeep of the organ and worship place contribute to the church's ability to maximize the participation in religious ritual. Where does one draw the line?, that is the question. As stated in a case cited by the petitioners, Musante v. Notre Dame of Easton Church, No. 301-CV-2352, 2004 WL 721774, *6 (D.Conn. Mar. 30, 2004), "the religious nature of the employer is not dispositive of the inquiry, since it is unlikely that a church custodian would ever be considered a ministerial employee." The petitioners urge that, contrary to the reasoning of the Court of Special Appeals, the Rayburn primary duties test does not mean that, "participation alone [is] not enough." We do not agree. In Rayburn, the court considered whether the position of associate in pastoral care was important to the spiritual mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 772 F.2d at 1169. Concluding that it was, the court stated: ....

Dave N (mail):
I agree, too many negatives--which makes the opinion less than coherent.
6.15.2007 8:07pm
Jim G (mail):
"...is not dispositive of the inquiry..." is kind of unfortunate, too. A simple "...does not decide the issue.." wouldn't have worked?
6.15.2007 8:19pm
Milhouse (www):
What does it say that I found it perfectly clear, and wouldn't have worded it any other way? Sure, you could unpack it like this:
The Court of Appeals said that the Rayburn primary duties test means that "participation alone [is] not enough". Petitioners urge that the Court of Appeals was wrong, and in fact the test doesn't mean that; they argue that in some circumstances, including theirs, participation alone is enough, despite Rayburn. We don't accept that argument. The test means exactly what the Court of Appeals said it did, and this case fails that test.
If this sentence was all the Court was going to write about its decision, then that much verbiage could be justified. But in the context of a long decision, in which the issues are presumably explained at length elsewhere, those two short sentences are enough.
6.15.2007 9:03pm
Ron Hardin (mail) (www):
``I hesitate to say that I don't disagree with you.'' -- Bob and Ray
6.15.2007 9:46pm