(Washington) The very conservative United States Supreme Court on Monday further expanded the place of religion in public schools by invalidating the firing of a football coach who had been praying on the premises.
Posted at 11:26 am
Three days after he buried abortion rights, his six conservative judges, against the advice of their three progressive peers, ruled in favor of Joseph Kennedy, who coached teams at Bremerton High School near Seattle for seven years before leaving his job lost.
“A government agency sought to punish a person for a brief, quiet, and personal practice of religion,” “the Constitution neither requires nor condones this type of discrimination,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote on her behalf.
After each game, the coach took to kneeling in prayer in the middle of the field, sometimes joined by his players. He would sometimes lead prayers in the dressing room before or after games.
In 2015, school authorities asked him to abstain, citing a section of the First Amendment that prohibits the state and its employees from encouraging the “establishment” of a religion, that is, funding or promoting exercise .
Since he refused, they had not renewed his contract. He then took legal action, invoking another First Amendment provision that guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
Both of these clauses are regularly the subject of dispute, and the Supreme Court had up until recently held the Crest line. But their conservative majority, consolidated by Donald Trump, is now tipping the scales in favor of religious circles.
In May, she felt that Boston City Hall should allow a Christian group to display their flag at City Hall. Last week, she ruled that the state of Maine cannot exclude denominational schools from a public assistance program.
“The Constitution and our best traditions encourage mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and annulment, for religious and non-religious views,” she now writes in the Joseph Kennedy File.
In a new bitter text, the court’s three progressive judges accuse their peers of “distorting the facts”. Accordingly, the coach’s prayers were not “personal and discreet” but “demonstrative” as he “regularly invited others to join him”.
A rare occurrence in a lawsuit, they attach a photo of it Coach surrounded by the young players praying on their knees.
“This decision does a disservice to schools and the young citizens they serve, as well as our nation’s long-term commitment to separate church and state,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor added on her behalf.