This article will review the legal issues related to church discipline which are raised by Guinn v. Church of Christ of Collinsville. Part II will provide an overview of the general legal bases for church rights of internal control and discipline in associational and first amendment law. Part III will note the traditional limited scope of tort claims, and defenses to them, raised in church discipline cases. Part IV will note the newer claims grounded in the modern torts of invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress as represented by Guinn in church discipline-related suits. Part V will suggest the rationale and bases for heightened judicial protection of churches in church discipline cases under both associational and first amendment law.
Lynn Buzzard, Scarlet Letter Lawsuits: Private Affairs and Public Judgments, 10 Campbell L. Rev. 1 (1987).