Supreme Court Delivers More Freedom with Unanimous Decision
In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court of the United States granted a victory to former postal carrier Gerald Groff after Groff lost his job for observing the Sunday Sabbath.
“This is a landmark victory, not only for Gerald, but for every American. No American should be forced to choose between their faith and their job,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty. “The Court’s decision today restores religious freedom to every American in the workplace.
Prayer Wins! Victory for Coach Kennedy at the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in favor of our client Coach Joe Kennedy, who was fired for praying on the 50-yard line. It upheld his right to take a knee in quiet, solitary prayer after games. But this wasn’t only a victory for one coach in Washington state. It has a nationwide impact on public-school teachers, employees and coaches, who are now free to live out their faith in public. This win overturned a prior ruling that harmed religious freedom for decades and set a major precedent for our First Freedom moving forward. Thanks to this win, you and millions of Americans have more religious liberty in more than half a century.
Students and Parents Win. States Cannot Discriminate.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of students’ rights in Carson v. Makin, which we brought together with the Institute for Justice. It affirmed that states cannot discriminate in student-aid programs against parents who want to send their children to religious schools. This victory brings an end to decades of discrimination. It rights the wrongs done to our clients and to countless parents and students not only in Maine, but also across the country. It makes it clear that in America, families should not be excluded from participating in widely available public benefits, simply for choosing a religious education.
It’s Not Coming Down. It’s Not Coming Down.
In a landmark 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial, a cross-shaped monument located on government property in Maryland. This win helped preserve the memory of the heroes it stands for and set a historic precedent protecting similar displays nationwide. It made an important change in our constitutional law, returning to a more commonsense reading of the First Amendment. Because of the Bladensburg victory, the days of offended observers forcing governments to scrub all public references to the divine are over.
First Liberty Fights for Faith-Based Businesses to Operate According to Their Beliefs.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, are award-winning cake artists who want to operate their business consistent with their Christian beliefs. They declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding, and the Oregon government punished them with a crippling $135,000 fine and told them they needed “rehabilitation.” First Liberty secured an initial victory in 2019, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order in their favor. It sent the case back to the state to be reconsidered in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, a ruling that said government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated. Their case has worked its way again through the Oregon courts, which have ruled against Aaron and Melissa. First Liberty plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court a second time. A win could finally deliver sweet justice for the Kleins and stop the government from forcing you—and millions of Americans—to conveying or celebrating messages that violate your religious beliefs.
Supreme Court Blocks Biden Administration’s Vaccine Mandate.
The Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on companies with more than 100 employees. This illegal expansion of government power threatened the freedoms of religious organizations and people of faith in the workplace. The ruling brought huge relief to First Liberty’s clients—Daystar Television Network, Answers in Genesis and American Family Association—three national religious employers that challenged the mandate in consolidated cases. This stopped the Biden administration from federalizing the nation’s workforce and forcing businesses to violate the conscience rights of employees like you.
First Liberty Wins Fight for Churches and Religious Schools to Operate Free of Government Interference.
First Liberty fought on behalf of several churches and religious schools in Puerto Rico, defending their right to independently choose their own structure. A Puerto Rico high court denied the legal existence of religious schools that have legally existed for decades, and directed how Catholic churches should govern themselves, a clear violation of the First Amendment and the church autonomy doctrine. We won a victory when the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Puerto Rico court’s decision and sent it back for further review. The Court’s order made it clear that the Constitution protects the independence of religious organizations and churches to choose their own leaders and structure their affairs without government intrusion.
First Liberty Wins Key Fight for Religious Liberty in The Home.
Mary Anne Sause was harassed and ordered by two law enforcement officers who had entered her home to stop praying in the privacy of her own living room. First Liberty took her case to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to reaffirm that Americans should never be told they’re not allowed to pray in their own home. We secured a victory for Mary Anne. In a stunning unanimous summary reversal, all nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, in an unsigned opinion, upheld the constitutional right of Americans to pray. The order made it clear: “There can be no doubt that the first Amendment protects the right to pray. Prayer unquestionably constitutes the ‘exercise’ of religion.” Mary Anne’s win was a crucial victory for millions of Americans, protect religious liberty in one of the most sacred and protected spaces spaces—the home.