Former Bremerton High School football coach Joseph Kennedy sued the Bremerton School District in 2016 for violating his First Amendment rights after the Seattle-area school district fired Kennedy in 2015 for continually kneeling in prayer on the school football field’s 50-yard line. Kennedy’s high-profile case is now before the Supreme Court.
Interest groups on both sides of the issue are watching this case closely. They see it as potentially upending the precedent that disallows endorsing a public school employee’s expression of faith. The Constitution prohibits public school officials from directing or favoring prayer when acting in their official capacities as representatives of the State.
Many believe it is possible that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, which holds a 6-3 majority, could ultimately side with Kennedy. In recent months, the Supreme Court has been siding with religious organizations. Over the past couple of years, the Supreme Court, in fact, delivered unanimous rulings for religious plaintiffs in several religious-related cases.
Arguments in the Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District case are ongoing, but a ruling is expected by July.