Appeals Court Says WA ‘Praying’ Coach Took Advantage of His Position
This is sure to get tongues wagging. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are no strangers to controversial decisions. Critics have even said they are known for stances that are anti-faith, anti-conservative, and this one won't change that reputation.
Q-13 Fox TV in Seattle is reporting Wednesday a Bremerton, WA high school coach has lost his appeal over being fired for leading an on-field prayer in 2015. Coach Joe Kennedy led players in the prayer after being told by the School District to stop.
He was fired. He appealed his dismissal and it eventually wound up before the 9th Circuit. The Judges claimed he took advantage of his position as coach to pressure students and athletes into taking part in the act.
Sources say the coaches prayers were voluntary, and most, if not all the players, chose to participate. During his Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump featured Kennedy at a campaign even in Virginia last October.
Kennedy had sued, saying his First Amendment and religious rights were violated, and he had sued to get his job back, but the district refused. That move was upheld in Wednesday's ruling by the 9th District Court. Several national conservative and legal groups who had joined in his defense effort have not yet issued comments.