Monday, April 25, 2022

Prayer At The 50-Yard Line: SCOTUS Hears Football Coach's Case This Morning

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. In the case, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a high school's actions against a football coach who insisted on praying at the 50-yard line immediately after football games. The coach was placed on paid administrative leave and given negative performance reviews. He did not reapply to coach the following year. A divided 9th Circuit denied en banc review. (See prior posting.) Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog previews the case, saying in part:

... Kennedy and the school district disagree not only about the legal issues and their implications, but also about many of the facts, including exactly why Kennedy lost his job. Kennedy says he was fired for briefly and privately praying at midfield; Laser and the school district counter that he was suspended for “refusing to stop holding public prayers at the 50-yard line,” which created both pressure for students to join him and “genuine safety concerns for students on the fields because of the spectacle that ensued from his media outreach on praying.”

The SCOTUSblog case page has links to the filings in the case, including the dozens of amicus briefs that have been submitted. Live audio of the oral arguments, which begin at 10:00 AM, will be available at this link. When the transcript and recording of the oral arguments become available later today, I will update this post with links to them.

UPDATE Here are links to the transcript and audio of the oral arguments.