9th Circuit Finds In Favor of School Over Firing Coach for Prayer

Joe Kennedy is the former football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington state.

He’s the former coach because the school district fired him after he refused to stop praying at mid-field with students, players, parents and others after games.

His constitutional rights infringed, Coach Kennedy appealed to the U.S. judiciary which reportedly is tasked with upholding the Constitution.

But in a very unsurprising decision, Kennedy’s appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit — the most liberal Circuit Court in the nation — was rejected when the court agreed that Kennedy’s insistence on praying in a public venue constituted religious oppression and therefore is not protected by the First Amendment.

He’s vowed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court where — should President Trump get a solid pick to replace Justice Kennedy — a reversal of the 9th Circuit is likely and will be a judicial atom bomb for the anti-Christian left.

Coach Kennedy served admirably in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, but this battle may quickly become his greatest.

Here’s more from Daily Signal…

The Supreme Court could be the next stop for a high school football coach after a federal appeals court said a Washington state school district acted properly in firing him for praying in public after games.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Joe Kennedy “took advantage” of his authority as a teacher and assistant coach at Bremerton High School by praying after games, when he sometimes was joined by players and parents from opposing teams as well as his own.

In doing so, the judges decided, Kennedy acted to “press his particular views upon impressionable and captive minds before him,” adding:

By kneeling and praying on the 50-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, Kennedy was sending a message about what he values as a coach, what the [school] district considers appropriate behavior, and what students should believe, or how they ought to behave.

Washington’s Bremerton School District has no legal obligation to return Kennedy to the job he held from 2008 to 2015, the Associated Press reported of the court’s two opinions totaling more than 60 pages.

“According to the 9th Circuit, it is unconstitutional for a coach to make a sign of the cross or bow his head in prayer when a player gets hurt,” said Mike Berry, deputy general counsel to First Liberty Institute, a public interest law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases and represents Kennedy, a former Marine.

“We are deeply disappointed by the decision and will consider all options available to Coach Kennedy as we continue to review the opinion,” Berry said in a prepared statement.

The Daily Signal has followed the Kennedy case since October 2015 and produced video reports on it last year.

“I just want the ability to go back out there and help these young men, and also have my constitutional rights that I fought for in the Marine Corps for 20 years,” Kennedy said in an interview with The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness after filing suit last August.

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