Press Release

Coach’s prayer to be heard at the Supreme Court High Court asked to decide if coach can be fired for mid-field prayer

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in an important religious freedom case on Monday to decide whether a high school football coach’s brief prayer at midfield after games is protected or considered a coercive endorsement of religion. In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Becket filed a friend-of-the-court brief to emphasize the importance of protecting religious expression and the longstanding tradition of public prayer in our nation.After every football game, Coach Joseph Kennedy would take the time to pray. School officials urged him to halt the tradition and eventually suspended Kennedy from his job. They reasoned that failing to censor Kennedy’s prayer would amount to government endorsement of religion and would make onlookers uncomfortable.

Becket’s brief emphasizes that visible expressions of faith are common to many faith traditions, and even required in others. Banning Kennedy’s public prayer is on par with excluding Orthodox Jews who wear yarmulkes, Catholics who cross themselves and carry rosaries, Sikhs who carry a kirpan, and Muslims who grow beards. Both history and Supreme Court precedent show that these religious expressions should be protected, not barred, by the Constitution.

Coach Kennedy is represented at the Supreme Court by First Liberty Institute, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Spencer Fane LLP, and The Helsdon Law Firm, PLLC.

Supreme Court Oral Argument in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District

Monday, April 25, 2022
10:00 a.m. ET

The argument will be live-streamed via CSPAN.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Ryan Colby at or 202-349-7219. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.