by Mikey Berry • 5 min read
Spring and summer have been incredibly busy here at First Liberty. Since January, we won two cases at the U.S. Supreme Court and argued a total of four cases in federal appeals courts. Just last month, the nation’s highest court handed down favorable rulings in our Faithful Carrier case involving Gerald Groff and our Sweet Cakes case involving bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein.
The landmark victory for Gerald Groff is a game changer for people of faith at work and will help ensure employers and businesses respect their employees’ requests for religious accommodations. Plus, with a favorable order from the Supreme Court in hand, we have a fresh start in the Sweet Cakes case. This gives us another opportunity to fight for Aaron and Melissa Klein in the state courts.
While these victories are certainly worth celebrating, the fight is not over. We’ll be on the frontlines over the coming months, as our attorneys head back to court to argue cases pivotal to securing religious freedom for our clients and millions Americans. Here are several we’re still fighting:
- Judge Dianne Hensley: Like many other Justices of the Peace around Texas, Judge Hensley found a way to reconcile her religious convictions after she received many requests for same-sex weddings. Despite her efforts, she’s been punished for ensuring that anyone who wants to get married can get married. She was brought before the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct and issued a warning. Our attorneys will argue her case at the Texas Supreme Court in October.
- Alaska Airlines: In an act of “woke” corporate madness, flight attendants Lacey Smith and Marli Brown were fired because of their religious beliefs. Their case is currently in federal court, and we’re in the thick of the fight to make sure people like Lacey and Marli are not forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood.
- CVS: Robyn Strader is a passionate and caring healthcare professional with multiple degrees. She was fired from CVS MinuteClinic simply because of her beliefs about when life begins. We sued CVS to ensure that Robyn and faithful workers like her are not discriminated against simply because of religion. Her case is still pending in federal court.
- Valerie Kloosterman: The University of Michigan Health system fired Valerie, a physician assistant, because of her religious beliefs. She was terminated for seeking a religious accommodation from using biology-obscuring pronouns and from referring patients for “gender reassignment” drugs and surgeries. We’re also fighting this case in federal court.
- U.S. Navy SEALs: We’re going back to federal district court this fall to continue fighting for our 35 U.S. Navy SEAL clients, who were punished for seeking religious accommodations to the military vaccine mandate. First Liberty has won for the SEALs at every stage in the process, and we’re not backing down. We’ll keep fighting for the religious liberty of all service members.
We are also awaiting some major decisions in several cases we recently argued in federal appeals court. Please continue praying for the judges as they write their rulings:
- Fire Chief Ron Hittle: After serving as a firefighter for over 20 years, our client was wrongfully fired because he went to a leadership conference that was held at a church. We argued on behalf of Chief Hittle back in March.
- Cambridge Christian School: Two private Christian schools were told they could not pray over the loudspeaker before the kickoff at their state championship football game. We argued this case back in June.
- His Tabernacle Church: In March, our attorneys argued on behalf of His Tabernacle Family Church. First Liberty challenged New York’s discriminatory prohibition on firearms at places of worship, while it allows comparable secular organizations to establish their own policies.
Despite our opponents’ efforts to derail religious freedom, we must not lose sight of what we have recently achieved: two Supreme Court victories in a month is truly remarkable. With God’s favor, we secured these victories for religious freedom that will impact our nation for generations. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and we are excited to see what God will continue to do to usher in an era of religious freedom unlike anything we have witnessed before.