The court issued a 4-3 ruling Tuesday that agreed with an appeals court and the trial court that teacher John Freshwater had failed to comply with orders to remove religious materials from his classroom.

The court said that was enough to spur Freshwater’s dismissal, so it didn’t even need to rule on whether the teacher impermissibly imposed his religious views in the classroom.

“We recognize that this case is driven by a far more powerful debate over the teaching of creationism and intelligent design alongside evolution,” the court noted in its decision. “(But) here, we need not decide whether Freshwater acted with a permissible or impermissible intent because we hold that he was insubordinate, and his termination can be justified on that basis alone.”