As legislators and other decision-makers seek out the Missouri Synod’s viewpoint on matters where increasingly secular social norms — and legislation mirroring those norms — likely will impact American Christians, a new Synod Web page offers key information for those interested.
The Web page — lcms.org/board/amicusbriefs — provides summaries and related information on contentious, possibly litigious topics where the LCMS has weighed in regarding potentially adverse implications for religious organizations, church workers and congregation members.
“As the nation continues to see the legal and religious dialogues intersecting in state and federal courts, the LCMS is increasingly being sought out to provide its perspective on these issues,” said Ron Schultz, LCMS chief administrative officer. “The officers of the Synod along with LCMS general counsel regularly review requests to join as ‘amicus curiae.’ ”
The Web page explains: “Amicus curiae (often called amicus or amici briefs) … is a Latin phrase that means ‘friend of the court’ — someone who is not a party to the litigation, but who believes that the court’s decision may affect its interest.”
The LCMS sometimes joins amicus briefs for cases in which the outcome is likely to affect the church, according to information provided on the Web page. Filing amicus briefs serves several purposes, such as:
- providing helpful information to the court regarding a certain case.
- alerting the court to the ways in which the case may affect people outside of the parties involved.
- raising media and citizen awareness of important issues.
“We believe it is important that our constituents know we are speaking out on social and legal issues for which the LCMS has a relevant perspective to bring to the conversation,” said Schultz.
Posted April 24, 2015