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Joseph Kennedy, Bremerton football coach, takes prayer case to Supreme Court

A highschool football coach combating to pray after video games is taking his case to the Supreme Court after being penalized by his college district, his legal professionals introduced Monday.

Joseph Kennedy, who labored as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington state till 2015, was barred from teaching the workforce after he refused to cease praying on the football area after video games.

“We will appeal and are confident that the Supreme Court of the United States will right this wrong,” mentioned Jeff Mateer, chief authorized officer for First Liberty Institute, which helped symbolize the coach. “Banning coaches from praying just because they can be seen contradicts the Constitution. Coach Kennedy has been denied the freedom to coach for over five years, but he’s never been a quitter.  We will fight on.”

Bremerton School District had charged Mr. Kennedy had violated the Establishment Clause and wished him to conduct his private prayers off the sphere in a press field or athletic facility. The Establishment Clause prohibits state involvement with faith. 

But the coach refused to pray elsewhere. His silent prayers, the place he would kneel alongside the 50-yard line, lasted nearly 10-30 seconds.

Students would encompass him at occasions, although he by no means invited them to pray with him.

The decrease courts dominated for the district, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit introduced Monday it could not rethink the case, prompting Mr. Kennedy to take the problem to the justices.

The excessive court docket declined to evaluation the authorized battle in 2019, as an alternative wanting the decrease courts to additional weigh the matter.

For the coach’s second excessive court docket request to be granted evaluation, at the very least 4 justices should agree to hear the case.

Richard Katskee, vp of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, mentioned the ninth Circuit had dominated accurately and the excessive court docket “shouldn’t have any stomach for undermining the religious freedom of the students and their families.”

“The Constitution requires public schools to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, regardless of their religious beliefs. That includes ensuring that student athletes don’t feel compelled to pray or participate in religious activities to secure their place on the team,” mentioned Mr. Katskee, whose group helped symbolize the district.

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