Controversial Football Coach Reinstated After SCOTUS Victory

Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach in the state of Washington, was fired in 2015 for kneeling on the field after one of his teams' games. On March 15, 2023, he will be able to return to his position.

Kennedy won a 6-3 vote in the Supreme Court in June upholding the coach's freedom to pray during halftime of games, thus this news comes after the victory.

For Kennedy to offer a prayer in accordance with U.S. law, the Bremerton School District must not prevent or interfere with him doing so. opinion of the Supreme Court, the attorneys said in the file, which may be found in the official records of the court. According to the document, the parties disagree on the particular wording of this component of the injunction, indicating that some specifics are still up for debate.

The records also state that Kennedy may not be subjected to retaliation by the Bremerton School District or to any subsequent adverse employment action on the basis of his compliance with the requirements of the Court's Order.

Court records were given to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, in a document that was filed by both parties involved in the case. Justice Robert Lasnik of the Western Washington District Court ruled that Kennedy should be returned to his old post. Prior to the controversy that erupted over his post-game prayers, Kennedy was an assistant coach for the Bremerton High School football team.

After seven years, in June, Justice Neil Gorsuch penned the majority opinion.

Both the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment safeguard the right to engage in this kind of brief, peaceful, personal religious observance. And the government's only real explanation for its retaliation was based on its misguided belief that it had a responsibility to seek out and stifle religious observances while permitting analogous secular speech, as Gorsuch put it. That particular form of discrimination is not mandated by the Constitution nor is it permitted by it.

After Kennedy took on the role of an assistant coach in 2008, he initiated the practice of bowing his head in prayer at the 50-yard line following the conclusion of every game. A few of the students followed him around on their own accord at times.

In 2015, a school official confronted Kennedy about the prayers, which caused the practice to become a controversy. As a result, Kennedy was put on leave.

Kennedy was unsuccessful in both the lower district court and the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit. In 2019, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case, and it was remanded to the District Court, which ultimately agreed with the decisions of the lower courts.

In 2021, following a second defeat at the hands of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Kennedy's legal team, consisting of First Liberty Institute and Kirkland & Ellis, re-presented the case to the Supreme Court, where it was granted review.

This is really mind blowing. After the case was decided in his favor, Kennedy stated, "All I've ever wanted was to get back on the field with my men.

He continued by saying, I would also like to extend my profound gratitude to the Supreme Court, as well as to the outstanding members of my legal team, and to everyone else who has supported us.  I give thanks to God for hearing our prayers and helping my family make it through this drawn-out conflict, the man said.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Daily Wire.

Written by Staff Reports

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