The petitioners, 187 in number, were convicted in a magistrate's court in Columbia, South Carolina, of the *230 common-law crime of breach of the peace. Their convictions were ultimately affirmed by the South Carolina Supreme Court, 239 S. C. 339, 123 S. E. 2d 247. We granted certiorari, 369 U. S. 870, to consider the claim that these convictions cannot be squared with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

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Appellant, Adell H. Sherbert, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, was discharged by her South Carolina employer because she would not work on Saturday, the Sabbath Day of her faith. She was unable to obtain other employment because she would not work on Saturday, and she filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits under the South Carolina Unemployment Compensation Act, which provides that a claimant is ineligible for benefits if he has failed, without good cause, to accept available suitable work when offered him. The State Commission denied Appellant's application on the ground that she would not accept suitable work when offered, and its action was sustained by the State Supreme Court.

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