SUPREME COURT HEARS ORAL ARGUMENTS ON FIRST AMENDMENT CASE

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FIRST AMENDMENT

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

After years of litigation between the former Bremerton High School football coach and the Washington school district, the Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in the First Amendment case.

The lawsuit involves a religious freedom dispute which arose after Joseph Kennedy, a football coach and Marine veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave and barred from “participating in any capacity in the BHS football program.” Kennedy received backlash from the school for kneeling in prayer after the school’s football games, according to the First Liberty Institute representing him.

Kennedy would habitually pray after every game for seven years, often by himself and sometimes voluntarily joined by students, triggering the school district to take disciplinary actions against him.

He filed a lawsuit against Bremerton School District in 2016. However, both the district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the school district.

Initially, the Supreme Court refused to take the case in 2019.

However, Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh released a statement expressing concerns over how the school district and lower courts have interpreted the First Amendment in the case.

In January, the court reconsidered the case and announced plans to hear oral arguments.

“No teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public,” President and CEO of First Liberty Kelly Shackelford said. “By taking this important case, the Supreme Court can pro…

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