Coach Has A Prayer: The United States Supreme Court will Review a Ninth Circuit Decision Preventing Coach from taking a Knee at Midfield
The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments in the Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, an alleged high school football coach. Joseph Kennedy is a former high school football coach.
"No teacher or coach should lose their job because they express their faith while in public," said Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty. "With this important action, the Supreme Court can protect the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of punishment."
Paul Clement, former Solicitor General of the United States, partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and volunteer attorney at First Liberty, said: "We are looking forward to presenting the Coach's case, which is relevant to the First Amendment, to the justices."
"Six years away from the football field has been far too long," Coach Kennedy said. "I am extremely grateful that the Supreme Court will hear my case and pray that I will soon be able to return to the field coaching the game and players I love."
The Supreme Court declined to review the case in January 2019, but allowed the lower courts to maintain their factual record. At that time, four justices (Justice Alito joined by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh) attached a statement indicating that the Court would be open to hearing the case at a future time, stating that "The Ninth Circuit's understanding of the free speech of public school teachers is troubling and may justify consideration in the future." The case has been returned to the lower courts, where
Mike Pence, the former United States Vice President, and Tommy Bowden, the son of legendary football coach Bobby Bowden, Steve Largent, and three-time Super Bowl winner Chad Hennings, all have filed "friend-of-the-court" briefs in which the Supreme Court can proceed.
About First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law business that is based in Washington, D.C. The largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom.
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