WASHINGTON—Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Coach Joe Kennedy and the First Amendment, affirming the constitutionality of the coach’s visible, but quiet, prayers on the field after school football games. Sarah Parshall Perry, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement in response to this win for free speech and free exercise of religion:
“No American should have to choose between their faith and their job, and the Supreme Court’s decision provides assurance that no American ought to be forced to do so.
“Today, the Supreme Court reaffirmed a long-standing principle, correctly ruling that teachers and other school employees do not surrender their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate. Coach Joe Kennedy’s quiet prayers after school football games—though visible to students—in no way represented a government establishment or endorsement of religion, contrary to the erroneous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
“After a seven-year battle to protect his right to religious expression, we’re pleased that Coach Kennedy’s story has a happy ending—one that will set a precedent protecting the right of all Americans to practice their faith in the public square.”