Tag Archives: pay our military act

Catholic Chaplain’s Lawsuit over Gov’t Shutdown Dismissed

Father Ray Leonard is a civilian contract chaplain who filed a lawsuit after the US military refused to allow him to perform services during the budget crisis known as the “government shutdown” last year.

Father Leonard’s lawsuit has been dismissed as moot (PDF), essentially because the government allowed him to return to work after it re-opened.

Legally, if a defendant reverses a policy in response to a lawsuit, the courts will not (necessarily) consider the claim moot. In this case, however, the judge decided the military did not change its mind because of his lawsuit, but because the government re-opened. Paraphrased, this “mootness” exception says¬† Read more

DoD Reverses Policy Furloughing Contract Chaplains

The Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit on Monday on behalf of Catholic military Chaplain Ray Leonard, who was prohibited from ministering as a chaplain because he was deemed “non-essential” to military morale and readiness.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Justice reversed the DoD’s ruling and informed TMLC that Father Leonard could resume his duties:

In response to the lawsuit, three attorneys from the Department of Justice contacted TMLC attorney Erin Mersino by phone and Read more

Catholic Chaplain Sues US Military for Right to Minister

Catholic priest Father Ray Leonard has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense and the Navy for prohibiting him from ministering to the military community at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.  Leonard is a civilian contractor who had been hired to begin his service on 1 October 2013.

The priest was one of thousands of civilian military employees and contractors furloughed because of the failure of Congress to reach a deal on funding the federal government. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has since recalled some Defense Department workers, but civilian military chaplains were excluded.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment that would Read more