3rd Circuit

Judith Smell may have favored five-pointed jewelry and kept a fountain of water flowing over stones on her desk. But she was also, she claims, very good at her job. So when Lehigh Carbon Community College failed to hire her for a permanent position when she applied this past August, she filed suit Dec. 17, 2004, claiming the college was discriminating against her because of her religion. Smell is a Wicca, once more commonly known as a witch, a faith is based in nature and tuned to the four elements: wind, air, earth and water.

Smell's suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania comes at the same time the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case involving Wicca for the first time.

Despite old stereotypes, Wiccans don't run around casting hexes and practicing black magic, Flinn says. "Present-day Wiccans are very positive people," he says.

High Court Decides

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