The New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case brought by a former teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school who argued that his defamation claim should not have been dismissed because the ministerial exception applies only to employment discrimination claims.

The state high court granted certification in Hyman v. Rosenberg Yeshiva of North Jersey, on the question of whether the ministerial exception bars any tort claims raised by a former ministerial employee against a religious institution if those claims are related to the religious institution’s employment decision.