Supreme Court hears arguments on high school prayer case

In a move that will likely have significant consequences for religious freedom, the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of a high school coach who was punished for praying at football games.  

According to an article by New York Times contributor Adam Liptak, the case involves Seattle-area coach Joseph A. Kennedy, who lost his job when he insisted on praying on the field.

Conservative justices appear to be leaning in coach’s direction

Liptak said that the questions asked by some of the justices during oral arguments on Monday suggest that they are leaning in Kennedy’s direction.

He wrote that the “Court’s conservative majority” appeared as if it was looking for a “narrow way to rule” in the former high school football coach’s favor.

Liptak reported that at one point, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked if Kennedy would have been disciplined if instead of praying he had publicly protested climate change, racial injustice, or the invasion of Ukraine.

What’s more, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wanted to know if the school board thought it should be permitted to “fire the coach for the sign of the cross right before the game.”

Kennedy’s case reached the Supreme Court after a series of lower courts found that his school district was within its rights to suspend him after he insisted on praying along the 50-yard line following games.

Attorney says case is about protecting religious freedom

The plaintiff is being represented by attorney Kelly Shackelford, who also serves as CEO of the conservative advocacy group First Liberty.

“No teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public,” Shackelford declared in a statement on Monday.

“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,” she added.

First Liberty Institute executive general counsel Hiram Sasser issued a statement of his own, saying, “Today, nearly eight years after being fired for praying by himself at the 50-yard line after a football game, Coach Kennedy filed his final brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“The commitment Coach Kennedy made to pray after a game did not involve others; it was (and is) to pray by himself at the 50-yard line after each game.  No one should be forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood.”

Share on facebook
Share To Facebook

Welcome to our comments section. We want to hear from you!

Any comments with profanity, advocacy of violence, harassment, personally identifiable information or other violations will be removed. If you feel your comment has been removed in error please contact us!

Latest Posts