SCOTUS Steps In After High School Football Coach Fired For Praying After Games

SCOTUS Steps In After High School Football Coach Fired For Praying After Games

The Supreme Court just threw a lifeline to a Seattle football coach who was fired for leading prayers after the games.

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Joseph Kennedy was the football coach at Bremerton High School before he was placed on administrative leave back in 2015, for praying with his team.

It appears some parents got wind of it and complained.

These same parents would be happy if their kids were pledging allegiance to the BLM flag.

Kennedy has become famous among religious conservative groups who argue that he was denied his free speech rights as a private citizen.

This isn’t the first time that Kennedy made his way to the Supreme Court.

He landed there back in 2019, hoping to get his job back while he went through litigation, the court denied that request, but the four conservative justices at the time wrote that a lower court’s ruling in favor of the school was “troubling” and that Kennedy’s claims “may justify review in the future.”

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That’s good news, and now he’s back.

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USA Today reports that the high court sent Kennedy back to lower courts at that time to determine if he was let go because of his religious expression or for some other reason.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco ruled in March that allowing Kennedy to pray – which he did in view of spectators and occasionally with players – would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishing religion. The court said he acted not as a private citizen but as a public employee.

The Bremerton School District, located just outside of Seattle, told the court in early December that school officials had heard from players’ parents who said their children felt compelled to participate in the prayers. School officials said that they offered Kennedy time and space to pray before and after games, such as in the press box.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco ruled in March that allowing Kennedy to pray – which he did in view of spectators and occasionally with players – would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on government establishing religion. The court said he acted not as a private citizen but as a public employee.

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The Bremerton School District, located just outside of Seattle, told the court in early December that school officials had heard from players’ parents who said their children felt compelled to participate in the prayers. School officials said that they offered Kennedy time and space to pray before and after games, such as in the press box.

The justices are set to revisit the issue when they hear arguments Jan. 18 in a case challenging the city of Boston’s decision to deny access to a Christian group that wants to briefly display its flag at city hall, a request the city regularly grants for secular groups.

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Let’s pray that he wins because this country needs a heck of a lot more praying.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WayneDupree.com


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