First Liberty Institute Appeals Postman’s Religious Rights Case to Supreme Court

After years of a lengthy legal battle, the case of a postman who says the United States Postal Service (USPS) must provide him with a religious accommodation is taking his case to the Supreme Court.

“Today, First Liberty Institute, Baker Botts LLP, the Church State Council, and the Independence Law Center filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of former mailman Gerald Groff,” the First Liberty Institute said earlier this week. “The petition asks the Court to reverse a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding that the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) is not required to provide religious accommodation allowing Groff to observe the Sunday Sabbath.”

Groff was first employed by USPS in 2012. In 2016, USPS began delivering packages for Amazon on Sundays, which had previously been a day off for all USPS employees.

Groff is a Christian and observes the Sabbath, a Sunday day of rest for Christians.

“It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of religion,” said Hiram Sasser, Executive General Counsel at First Liberty. “USPS should have granted Gerald a reasonable accommodation to observe the Sunday Sabbath. Forcing him to choose between his faith and his job is illegal. We must protect the right of every American to engage in religious exercise without fear of getting fired from their jobs.”

Initially, a district court sided with USPS. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said that USPS had indeed failed to provide a reasonable accommodation for Groff, but that doing so would present an undue hardship for USPS.

It is that ruling on which First Liberty is appealing to the Supreme Court.

“Observing the Sabbath day is critical to many faiths — a day ordained by God,” said Randall Wenger of the Independence Law Center. No one should be forced to violate the Sabbath to hold a job.”

According to its website, First Liberty has been defending the First Amendment rights of Americans for three decades.

“For over 30 years, First Liberty President, CEO and Chief Counsel, Kelly Shackelford, has been leading the fight to reclaim religious freedom in America,” the website says. “Joining Kelly on the frontlines are a dedicated team of legal experts who have helped First Liberty achieve an unparalleled win rate of over 90% across all legal matters.”

– – –

Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].




Related posts