Evangelical Navy chaplains who were denied promotions have won a round in court. A D.C. appeals court reversed the dismissal of their lawsuit alleging religious bias in promotions and sent it back to the lower court to be reconsidered.
In the case, the chaplains allege that the Navy Chaplain Corps systematically discriminates against members of their religious denominations when awarding promotions. They argue that the process favors Catholic and liturgical Protestant chaplains—a bias that would violate the Establishment Clause.
The appeals court agreed, ruling that “at least those plaintiffs whose promotions will likely be considered by future selection boards operating under the challenged policies have standing to pursue their claims for injunctive relief.”