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Federal appeals court again rules against football coach dismissed for on-field prayer

July 20, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: In March 2021, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled against Joseph Kennedy, a former football coach at the Bremerton School District in the State of Washington; on July 19, the full court declined to hear the case.

In a new dissent, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, 84 (who was appointed to the bench by President Reagan), said that “it is axiomatic that teachers do not shed their First Amendment protections at the schoolhouse gate. . . . .Yet the opinion in this case obliterates such constitutional protections . . . Indeed, we are told that, from the moment public high school football coach Joseph Kennedy arrives at work until the very last of his players has gone home after a game, the Free Speech Clause simply doesn’t apply to him.”

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