The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school football coach who was fired from his job after reciting a prayer after games.
Joe Kennedy lost his job as a junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach because he felt at the 50-yard line to pray after games. The incident occurred at Bremerton School District in Washington.
As a public school employee, administrators argued his prayer occurred “in view of students” and was “engaging in unprotected government speech.”
The Supreme Court ruled overwhelming 6-3 that the public school violated Kennedy’s “personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, “Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress.”
“Religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination,” Gorsuch added.
Justice Clarence Thomas also noted how the prayer couldn’t possibly be viewed as “government speech” given how the school district vehemently and publicly opposes prayer. READ MORE...
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