Precedents for NICPA

Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963).
The Court reversed South Carolina's decision to deny Adell Sherbert, a Seventh-day Adventist, unemployment compensation because she was fired for refusing to work on Saturday. Justice Brennan spoke for a 7 to 2 majority, when he said, South Carolina "force[d] her to choose between following the precepts of her religion and forfeiting benefits, on the one hand, and abandoning one of the precepts of her religion in order to accept work, on the other hand. Governmental imposition of such a choice puts the same kind of burden upon the free exercise of religion as would a fine imposed against [her] for her Saturday worship."

Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).
Chief Justice Burger wrote for the majority in a a 6-1 opinon that the Wisconsin compulsory school attendance law infringed upon the religious freedom of Amish parents who wished to teach their children domestic arts and agriculture at home after they finished the eighth grade.

Thomas v. Review Board, Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U.S. 707 (1981).
Thomas, a Jehovah's Witness, quit his job in a foundry when he was transferred to making turrets for military tanks. Chief Justice Burger, with only Justice Rehnquist dissenting, reversed Indiana's denial of unemployment compensation. He wrote: "Where the state conditions receipt of an important benefit upon conduct proscribed by a religious faith, or where it denies such a benefit because of conduct mandated by religious belief, thereby putting substantial pressure on an adherent to modify his behavior and to violate his beliefs, a burden upon religion exists. While the compulsion may be indirect, the infringement upon free exercise is nonetheless substantial."

Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n of Fla., 480 U.S. 136 (1987).
In speaking for an 8-1 Court Justice Brennan extended the right to receive unemployment compensation to a person who after two and a half years working Friday nights and Saturdays became a Seventh-day Adventist and was fired for refusing to work on her Sabbath.

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