Nightly News   |  January 11, 2012

Religious groups support unanimous ruling

NBC’s Pete Williams discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision and how it affects religious freedom.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> there is a major decision to report tonight from the u.s. supreme court . it's about religious freedom in this country. it's unanimous and affects people who work for churches and other religious institutions. our justice correspondent pete williams in washington with this story tonight. good evening.

>> reporter: easily the most important decision on religious freedom in decades. all nine justices said today people who work for churches or religious schools and are involved in furthering the mission or the religious message cannot sue for job discrimination, race, gender, disability, in i kind. the court says the government cannot interfere with a religious institution's decisions about who will carry out its beliefs. chief justice roberts said, "it's undoubtedly important to enforce the laws against job discrimination, but so too is the interest of religious groups in choose hog will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission." he said government influence over religious decision is one of the country's founding principles.