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First Amendment Library:
Daniel R. McLeod


Close to 200 peaceful protesters filed suit after they were arrested following a demonstration to end segregation at the South Carolina State House. The Supreme Court found that the protesters' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and petition were violated by the state.


Adell H. Sherbert was fired from her job because her religious beliefs as a Seventh Day Adventist prohibited her from working on Saturdays. This restriction also made it difficult for her to find other work after losing her job. When Sherbert applied for unemployment benefits from the state of South Carolina, the state denied her relief. South Carolina could deny benefits to those who could not find a job without good cause. Here, South Carolina did not find Sherbert’s religious convictions to be a “good cause” to restrict her employment.