Brianna Bolden-Hardge, a mother of two, a devout JW and a career California civil servant, sues the Office of the State Controller which revoked a job offer after she objected to swearing a loyalty oath, even though three other state agencies she worked for "either did not insist on the oath or provided her a religious accommodation to it" (by allowing to submit a clarifying statement). She sued, and the case was dismissed by a district court. Now it's heard by the Ninth Circuit. The plaintiff is represented by Harvard and Stanford Religious Liberty Clinics. Also, six leading law&religion scholars like Michael W. McConnell and Douglas Laycock, represented by Eugene Volokh, another superstar jurist, filed an amicus brief, arguing the Office discriminated against her:
Here, the Office of the California State Controller has failed to provide an accommodation that would let Brianna Bolden-Hardge remain, by her lights, honest in God’s eyes. Forbidding Bolden-Hardge from providing her chosen addendum clarifying what she was saying by signing the California oath or affirmation would conflict with her religious beliefs, as a Jehovah’s Witness, on the importance and implications of making a promise or taking an oath. Bolden-Hardge thus had to choose between violating the tenets of her religion by signing the oath without the addendum or forgoing an opportunity for employment at a higher-paying job, creating a substantial burden on her religious beliefs. See Thomas v. Rev. Bd., 450 U.S. 707, 717-18 (1981). This violates the Title VII duty of reasonable accommodation, because the Office cannot show that accommodating Bolden-Hardge would qualify as an undue hardship: Title VII preempts state law, so any conflict between Bolden-Hardge’s requested addendum and the California Constitution is irrelevant; moreover, letting an employee sign a modest addendum imposes, at most, a de minimis cost on the Office. See Ansonia Bd. of Educ. v. Philbrook, 479 U.S. 60, 67 (1986). Therefore, the Office was obligated to provide Bolden-Hardge with a religious accommodation, and the Office’s refusal to do so amounts to religious discrimination.