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First Amendment Library:
William D. Donnelly


In 1943 petitioner, a native of Canada, filed his petition for naturalization in the District Court of Massachusetts. He stated in his application that he understood the principles *62 of the government of the United States, believed in its form of government, and was willing to take the oath of allegiance (54 Stat. 1157, 8 U.S.C. § 735 (b)) which reads as follows:


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.