• Home
  • Politics
  • Supreme Court Sides with Public School Coach Leading Students in Prayer

Supreme Court Sides with Public School Coach Leading Students in Prayer

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the firing of a football coach who lost his job after praying at the 50-yard line violated the First Amendment rights.

Coach Joseph Kennedy had been praying with his players at the end of games since the fall of 2008 until he was placed on administrative leave in 2015. The post-game tradition lasted 7 years until the Bremerton School District launched an investigation following a parent complaint.

The 6-3 decision overrules Lemon v. Kurtzman, a decision made in 1971 to avoid violation of the Establishment Clause which prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the majority. “Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents, as embodied in both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” wrote Sotomayor. She also stated, “This decision does a disservice to schools and the young citizens they serve.”

The court ruled that coach Joseph Kennedy’s actions are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution and that his prayers could not be restricted by the Washington state school district as they as considered “private speech.”

“Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the free exercise and free speech clauses of the First Amendment,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority opinion. “And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

“The court holds that both the free exercise and free speech clauses protect Kennedy’s right to play at midfield following high school football games,” ruled the court.

The Kennedy v. Bremerton School District decision will surely impact disputes regarding the presence of region on school grounds and the separation of church and state.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Join Our Mailing List

    Recent Articles

    Trump Claims ‘Classified’ Documents Were Taken From His Mar-a-Lago Property

    The legal raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was prompted via a search warrant, obtained with the hope of discovering evidence officially tying Trump to the crimes committed on January 6th, 2021. Now, CNN has reported that more than 20 boxes of files, “binders of photos, sets of classified government materials and at least one handwritten note,” as well as “four sets of ‘top secret’ documents, three sets of ‘secret’ documents, and three sets of ‘confidential’ documents” are now in the FBI’s possession. 

    Biden to Sign Legislation to Aid Veterans

    On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law expanding health care benefits to millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service. The bill is a major bipartisan success for Congress and addresses a very personal issue for the President. Biden had said he believes there may have been a connection between the brain cancer that killed his 46-year-old son, Beau Biden, and the burn pits Beau was exposed to during his military service.

    Mar-a-Lago Trump Estate Searched By FBI For Jan. 6th Investigation

    The FBI was officially granted a search warrant into the Florida home of former President Donald Trump in an attempt to discover classified documents that could aid the Jan. 6th committee in their investigation of the capitol riots last year. Eric Trump has spoken to the press about this raid, sharing with Fox News the surprise that his family had regarding this sudden search, where “The purpose of the raid was, from what they said, was because the National Archives wanted to corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession… And my father has worked so collaboratively with them for months. In fact, the lawyer that’s been working on this was totally shocked. He goes, ‘I have such an amazing relationship with these people and all of a sudden, on no notice, they send 20 cars and 30 agents?'”

    Indiana Legislature First To Approve Abortion Bans Post-Roe

    On Friday Indiana became the first state in the nation to approve abortion restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb quickly signed a near-total ban on the procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it. The ban is set to take effect on Sept. 12, and it includes some exceptions.

    Sinema Says She Will ‘Move Forward’
    On Economic Bill

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema offered her support for President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda on Thursday, after party leaders agreed to change new tax proposals at her request. This is a huge win for senate democrats who managed to secure Sinema’s support for a modified signature climate, tax and health care proposal, which will move forward on the legislation on Sunday.

    Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!