Resumption of Court Proceedings for Christian Football Coach fired for Praying on the Field


Court Proceedings on the case of Joseph Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District has been announced last Friday by the Supreme Court. We recall that the high school football coach had been fired for praying on the football field after games.

The high school coach, Kennedy, was first suspended, and subsequently relieved of his duties and position as Coach for Bremerton School District in Washington State, as punishment for praying on the field after games in 2015. He had sued the school in 2016, claiming they infringed on his constitutional right to religious freedom.

The former coach, in a bid to change the turn out of events to his favour, after a 2017 decision by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, had agreed that the school district was right in firing him, appealed to the Supreme Court. In 2019, the Supreme Court turned down the case, pushing it down to the lower courts.

A District Court, under Judge Ronald Leighton, also agreed with the school district, claiming the school district acted within its jurisdiction in suspending and firing the coach.

The case was taken back to Ninth Circuit, which rejected the case this time. Then, First Liberty – a Texas-based law firm representing Joseph Kennedy, refiled the case in the Supreme Court, in September, following an earlier turn down by the same Supreme court in July.

The First Liberty’s President, CEO and Chief Counsel, Kelly Shackelford, in his speech said, ” The Ninth Circuit’s opinion threatens the rights of millions of Americans who simply want to be able to freely exercise their faith without fear of losing their job. We hope the Supreme Court will right this wrong and restore Coach Kennedy to the football field where he belongs.”

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