I featured Coach Kennedy’s case in my book “Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage.” I found it to be one of the most moving religious liberty cases in recent times.
First Liberty: The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments in the case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, in which attorneys for First Liberty Institute and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, led by veteran Supreme Court advocate Paul Clement, represent Joe Kennedy. Kennedy, a former high school football coach, is asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision that allowed a school district to fire him because fans and students could see him take a knee in silent prayer after football games.
“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.”
By agreeing to take this case, the Court will have an opportunity to protect the right of every American to live out their faith, including praying in public, without the fear of punishment. The outcome could restore the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and strike a serious blow against a bad legal precedent that’s harmed religious liberty for more than 30 years.
This man prayed AFTER the game was over. AFTER. But that was too offensive for some who feel that Christ and Christianity must be driven from the view of the public. Jesus is the new secondhand smoke.