Judge supports School District over Fired Coach for Praying

Court granted the motion for judgment summary in the case of Coach Joe Kennedy who was fired five years ago over his “silent” post-game prayers on the 50-yard line.

The football coach continues to loose in this battle, at first the Supreme Court refuses to hear his case as his legal team set to appeal the decision was made by Judge Ronald Leighton.

CBN reported that, the post-game prayers caught on, spilling over to his players and even to opposing teams then he was fired in 2015 by the School district on the 50-yard line after football games and silently praying.

Football Coach Kennedy sees the decision of the school district as a violation of his right to free speech while the school sees the public prayer appearance of coach as an approval and endorsement of religion by the school district.

During his interview with CBN News, he said his prayers were never mandatory.
I had some parents who said, ‘I don’t want my kid involved with that.’ And I respected that. That is their right as a parent,” Kennedy said. “It was never a forced thing. It was never an asked thing.”

CBN News reported that Kennedy’s case attracted nationwide attention from the media, Hall of Fame coaches and players, and even President Trump. In January, President Trump invited Kennedy to the Oval Office as he announced new actions to protect religious freedom in America’s public schools.

“We are disappointed in this decision, but we are undeterred in our mission to obtain justice for Coach Kennedy,” said Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty Institute. “For almost five long years Joe has had to miss coaching the game he loves. Joe has fought—first as a U.S. Marine, then as a coach—to prove that every American has the right to engage in individual religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired. He knows this fight isn’t over.”

According to CBN News, Last January, the Supreme Court declined to reverse a previous decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upholding Kennedy’s 2015 firing. However, in a separate statement filed by Justice Alito and joined by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, the justices explained that the court needed more information in order to resolve the matter.

As the four justices wrote, “the Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future.” The case then returned to the district court for further review, prompting Thursday’s decision.

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