It's not over yet for praying high school football coach

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Chris Woodward (

Bremerton (WA) football coach Joe KennedyAfter being fired for refusing to obey an order to stop praying – and even though the United States Supreme Court has declined an opportunity to review that decision -- the attorneys of a Washington State high school football coach are assuring that it's not game over.

"The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take on the coach Joe Kennedy appeal, for now, and that is because they said that although they disagree with the 9th Circuit's ruling, they need more facts to be developed before the case is ready for the Supreme Court to take," explained attorney Mike Berry of First Liberty Institute – the organization representing Coach Kennedy, according to a news release issued on case’s developments.

Kennedy's case began in 2015 when he was head coach for the Bremerton High School junior varsity football team and an assistant coach for the varsity team.

The Bremerton School District ordered Kennedy to stop praying after games, as was his custom. When Kennedy continued praying after games, the district suspended him and eventually refused to renew his contract – resulting in the termination of his coaching career.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the school district's actions.

"I've seen a lot of media reports and hot takes saying that this is it, it's game-over," Berry commented on the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We're absolutely still alive, and we intend and plan to continue to fight on for coach Kennedy and for religious liberty."

Berry also mentioned that First Liberty was pleasantly surprised to see four justices of the Supreme Court issue a statement saying they disagree with the 9th Circuit.

"They need some additional questions answered – I guess is the best way to put it – so we look forward to getting those questions resolved and insuring that the record has sufficient facts so that this court can address this issue," the attorney added.

Meanwhile, Berry insists that this case is about more than just a Marine-turned-football coach from Bremerton, Washington.

"If what the Bremerton School District did, and what the 9th Circuit said was perfectly fine for the school district to do – and that is to fire a public school employee simply because he wanted to take a 15- to 30-second silent moment of silence or prayer by himself after the football games – and they fired him for that … if that is allowed to stand, that would strip tens of thousands of Americans from their most basic constitutional rights," Berry argued. "We can't let that stand, and at First Liberty we're going to fight."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




What is your opinion over President Trump declaring a 'national emergency' on U.S.-Mexico border?





Trump says he has 'absolute right' to declare emergency
Feds share watchlist with 1,400 private groups
Mexico closes temporary migrant shelter near US border
Judge OKs suit aimed at halting Obama library in Chicago
Pressure builds to get civilians out of last IS-held enclave
Bernie Sanders says he's running for president in 2020
Trump criticizes California over lawsuit against border wall
New questions raised in Smollett attack claims


McCabe reveals the 'one thing' that stood out from his fateful call with Flynn
House Dems blame GOP for 'gutted' tax refunds
Report: Trump administration launches global initiative to end criminalization of homosexuality
The 2 things that hold back blacks
Get woke, get fired


Cartoon of the Day
SCOTUS invited to have its say on state's abortion restrictions

hospital signSupporters of abortion want the U.S. Supreme Court to put a stop to Louisiana's new abortion restrictions – restrictions that pro-life advocates call "common sense."