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Wed Jan 23, 2019, 10:05 AM

Supreme Court Won't Hear Case of WA Football Coach Fired Over Public Prayers

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/01/22/supreme-court-wont-hear-case-of-wa-football-coach-fired-over-public-prayers/




Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case of WA Football Coach Fired Over Public Prayers
By Hemant Mehta, January 22, 2019

The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a public school football coach who wouldn’t stop praying on the field and was subsequently fired. The case is over. Church/state separation won over fake “religious freedom.”

The case involved Joe Kennedy, the former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington. He continued praying publicly despite several warnings that he was violating the law. In December of 2015, the District said they wouldn’t be renewing his contract, which led to him filing a federal lawsuit against them in August of 2016. A federal district court judge refused to overturn the District’s decision. So Kennedy’s lawyers from First Liberty appealed the decision, and in August of 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him too.

So Kennedy tried again, asking the entire Ninth Circuit to give his case another look. They declined last January. In June, his lawyers threw the Hail Mary pass, asking the Supreme Court to reconsider his appeal.

Today, the Supreme Court declined to take up his case — thank goodness — but four of the conservative justices (everyone except Chief Justice John Roberts) issued an explanation of why they weren’t taking up this case.

In short, they felt there were too many “important unresolved factual questions” that would make it “difficult if not impossible” to decide the case.

Their main concern hinges on the question of whether his firing violated his free speech rights.

The district said they fired him over the prayers because (1) he wasn’t supervising his players at the time and (2) reasonable observers might think his prayers represented school-sponsored religion. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the conservatives that the first concern would be a legitimate one for the district, and Kennedy had no proof he was off-duty at those times:

… [Kennedy’s] free speech claim would have far greater weight if petitioner was likely to be able to establish either that he was not really on duty at the time in question or that he was on duty only in the sense that his workday had not ended and that his prayer took place at a time when it would have been permissible for him to engage briefly in other private conduct, say, calling home or making a reservation for dinner at a local restaurant.

Unfortunately, the District Court’s brief, informal oral decision did not make any clear finding about what petitioner was likely to be able to prove.


Alito added that the four justices would gladly have overturned the earlier ruling if the facts supported Kennedy, but those facts just aren’t there. Literally, they’re not there. It’s not that the facts go against him. So they have nothing to point to in order to say the district was wrong.

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Reply Supreme Court Won't Hear Case of WA Football Coach Fired Over Public Prayers (Original post)
NeoGreen Jan 2019 OP
underpants Jan 2019 #1
Polly Hennessey Jan 2019 #2
Cartoonist Jan 2019 #3
defacto7 Jan 2019 #4
progressoid Jan 2019 #5
Hassin Bin Sober Jan 2019 #6
Iggo Jan 2019 #7
lindysalsagal Apr 2019 #8

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 10:25 AM

1. Sounds like First Liberty and their founders rushed this through

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 10:33 AM

2. Sounds like a set up by First Liberty from the beginning.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 10:54 AM

3. Important unresolved factual questions

Ain't that the truth?

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 12:44 PM

4. Sounds like the conservative SC justices are biding their time to take a bigger bite

out of the separation of C&S.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 07:30 PM

5. My Jr High baskeball coach always had us "bow for a prayer" before each game.

It was a real downer. We're getting all psyched for the game and then we get interrupted to thank the deity for some reason.

He was also the head of the FCA - The Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I had to go to one on their meetings. Puke. What a bunch of pious a-holes.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2019, 09:35 PM

6. Yeah, my football coach had us bow for a prayer. He also referred to Asian people as a slur ...

... common during the Vietnam war.

My wrestling coach told “fag” jokes. It was no fun being an atheist gay kid.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2019, 09:53 PM

7. My tennis coach tried that once.

My recollection is that I looked at him wide-eyed like "Dude, what are you doing?" and then said "Nope."

But it was probably just the "Nope."

(1977-78)

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2019, 02:52 PM

8. "Dear God: Smite the other team! You know we're more holy! "

Insanity. Like there is going to be an omnipotent deity who gives one rat's ass which side of a painted line the ball falls, or who caught it, or who dropped it.

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