From the ridiculous end of the sublime-to-ridiculous spectrum comes Curtis Blaine Storey, a man who lost his job and sued his employer for discriminating against him on the basis of national origin and religion. His employer gave him the sack for constantly displaying his Confederate flag at the workplace in violation of workplace rules.
Storey’s claimed national origin: Confederate Southern-American. His religion? The same. His lawyer’s rather inapt comparison, according to this article in the Legal Intelligencer, is that
Confederate Southern-Americans “endured a persecution similar to that suffered by the Highland Scots under English rule after the Jacobite uprising of 1745, or the Acadians of Canada.”
The district judge who heard this claim tossed it out. The Third Circuit agreed, upheld the dismissal but had a split vote.
The majority ruled that because Storey could have removed his Confederate symbols and kept his job, he didn’t suffer an adverse employment action because of his Southern-American “origin.”
Concurring judge John Scirica would have put the whole “national origin” issue to rest. In his concurring opinion, he said “[w]here one cannot trace ancestry to a nation outside of the United States, a former regional or political group within the United States, such as the Confederacy, does not constitute a basis for a valid national origin classification.”