First Liberty Files Opening Brief at U.S. Supreme Court in Faithful Carrier Case

February 24, 2023
Gerald Groff Postal Worker Supreme Court | First Liberty Institute

by Mia Gradick  • 3 min read

This week, First Liberty filed our opening brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in our Faithful Carrier case. Our client Gerald Groff was wrongly forced to quit his job, because of his religious beliefs. His day in court is quickly approaching. On April 18th, our legal team will argue his case.

First Liberty is representing Gerald alongside our friends at Baker Botts, the Church State Council, and the Independence Law Center.

Gerald sincerely believes in honoring the Lord’s Day. Working for the U.S. Postal Service seemed like a perfect fit—until they began Sunday deliveries for Amazon. Although Gerald went out of his way to work extra shifts to make up for Sundays, the USPS ultimately refused to grant him a religious accommodation, which is in direct violation of federal civil rights law. Facing a choice between his job and his faith, he had no choice but to resign.

Our brief asks the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that held the postal service is not required to grant a religious accommodation for an employee to observe the Lord’s Day. We’re also asking the Court to re-examine a poorly-reasoned case from the 1970s that tips the balance in favor of corporations and the government over the religious rights of employees.

Revisiting these decisions presents a huge opportunity for the rights of religious people at work. First Liberty President, CEO and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford explains:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to restore religious liberty in the workplace. Our nation has a long history of protecting its employees from being treated unfairly at work just because of their faith. This is an important case for all Americans.”

Aaron Streett of Baker Botts said, “Justice Thurgood Marshall once said that a society that truly values religious pluralism cannot compel adherents of minority religions to make the cruel choice of surrendering their religion or their job. Making sure everyone is treated fairly at work promotes our nation’s historic commitment to religious diversity.” Alan Reinach of the Church State Council added, “Restoring Title VII’s focus of protecting religious employees motivates everyone from the boardroom to the mail room to find a solution that works for the business as a whole.”

As our legal team prepares to argue at the Supreme Court, we want to thank you for standing strong alongside Gerald. We could not have gotten this far without your support.

Our brief is an important step forward in getting Gerald closer to victory. But there’s still a lot of work ahead of us over the next couple of months. Our attorneys are going to be working diligently and devoting extra hours to make sure our arguments are razor-sharp.

There’s a lot at stake with this case and First Liberty is really counting on your support. As you know, taking a case to the highest court in the country always demands a great deal of work and resources, and we need to replenish our arsenal to prepare for oral argument.

The clock is ticking for our April 18th argument. Your support today can make a tremendous difference. Please donate today and help us secure a victory for Gerald—and for millions of religious workers—at the Supreme Court.

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