Scherbert (1963): This case dealt with a statute’s unintended effect of
burdening religious beliefs. P (a Seventh-day Adventist”) was discharged by her employer because she would not work on Saturday, the Sabbath Day of her faith. She was unable to locate other work which would not require her to work on Saturday. She filed a claim for unemployment benefits under the South Carolina Unemployment Compensation Act. That law provides that, to be eligible for benefits, a claimants must be “able to work and…available for work,” but a claimant is ineligible “if he has failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable work.” D (The Employment Security Commission) found that P’s restriction upon her availability for Saturday caused her to be exempt from employment benefits because she “failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable work.” Did the denial of P’s claim, because it lacked good cause, violated the Free Exercise Clause?
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