The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against former high school football coach Joe Kennedy on Wednesday. Bremerton School District suspended Kennedy in 2015 for praying at mid-field. Kennedy sued the school district in 2016, after they did not renew his contract. The religious freedom non-profit law firm First Liberty Institute is representing Kennedy.
First Liberty claims Kennedy has a Constitutional right to express his religion by praying after football games. But the Ninth Circuit ruled that Kennedy “spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen when he kneeled and prayed on the fifty-yard line.” The Court further found that Bremerton School District was right to punish Kennedy.