Although not nearly as highly publicized as its vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) issued another landmark decision in its ruling on Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. This case asked the court to decide whether a public school can prohibit a football coach from offering a personal prayer at midfield after a game ends.
After allowing it for seven years, Bremerton School District asked Coach Joe Kennedy to stop because the practice violated school policy. When Kennedy continued, the district did not renew his contract. Kennedy filed a lawsuit, but the lower courts did not find in his favor.
SCOTUS finally agreed to hear the case in the spring of 2022, and in a 6-3 vote, reversed the decision made by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that a high school football coach’s freedom of speech and religion is protected under the First Amendment even though he serves in a public role.