Supreme Court to Hear High School Coach's Prayer Dispute

    Photo: First Liberty Institute [via CBS News]

    The Facts

    • On Mon., SCOTUS heard oral arguments in the case of Joseph Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District – a landmark hearing that could redefine the role religion plays in public life.

    • Kennedy became assistant head coach of Bremerton High School's football team in 2008. Inspired by the sports film "Facing The Giants," he would regularly pray following games – reportedly doing so from his first game to 2015 without incident.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    A central question of this case is whether a public school employee lost his First Amendment-protected right to free speech. America is a free country and, as long as Kennedy wasn't pressuring anyone to join in his prayer, his expression should be accepted.

    Left narrative

    The Supreme Court has routinely rejected prayer in public schools for over 60 years because it violates an American's right to religious freedom. While Kennedy may argue he's wasn't forcing players to join in, there was an expectation to participate based on the power dynamics.

    Political split



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