The U.S. Supreme Court fully backed a Christian former Seattle-area football coach who was fired from his job because he refused to stop praying on the field.
According to the DailyWire, that the coach had his First Amendment rights violated after he was placed on administrative leave by the school district and banned from participating in the football program for praying on the field after games in view of students.
The U.S. Supreme Court backed a Christian public high school football coach who was disciplined for leading prayers on the field after games. I'm filling in for @bobsellers today on American Agenda and I'll have much more on this ruling. See you from 2pm-4pmET on @newsmax! pic.twitter.com/bInvy89MVk
— Alison Maloni (@AlisonMaloni) June 27, 2022
When the school district learned that Coach Joe Kennedy was praying with the team, they told him that he could pray separately from students. Kennedy declined to change his practice, was put on paid leave, and sued.
FirstLiberty.org was the first to report on this ground breaking news and provided quotes from those involved.
“No teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public,” said Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty. “By taking this important case, 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 U.S. Solicitor General, partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and First Liberty volunteer attorney, said, “We look forward to presenting the Coach’s case, which goes to the heart of the First Amendment, to the Justices.”
Coach Kennedy added, “Six years away from the football field has been far too long. I am extremely grateful that the Supreme Court is going to hear my case and pray that I will soon be able to be back on the field coaching the game and players I love.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s group echoes language in Kennedy’s petition filed with the Supreme Court last month blasting the appeals court’s decision as “egregiously wrong.”
“Americans of faith do not turn their devotion off and on like a light switch, and we must reject any attempt by the government to control private religious expression — especially those who call on their faith when answering the call to participate in public service,” Pence said in a statement Monday. “Advancing American Freedom will always stand up to unconstitutional restrictions on personal religious freedom and the free exercise of religion that are the lifeblood of our Republic.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State criticized the decision in a statement.
“No child attending public school should have to pray to play school sports. No student should ever be made to feel excluded – whether it’s in the classroom or on the football field – because they don’t share the religious beliefs of their coaches, teachers or fellow students,” Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser said.