For Immediate Release
Monday, June 27, 2022
Contact: Cindy Dahlgren
A statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod, Esq.
Americans are still allowed to pray – even on the 50-yard line. This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Coach Joseph Kennedy. The ruling upheld First Amendment free speech and free exercise rights. Further, the Court clearly stated Coach Kennedy’s prayers did not offend the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
The Court’s 6-3 ruling in Kennedy v. Bremberton School District upholds Coach Kennedy’s right to publicly express his faith with prayer, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Americans have the right to freely exercise one’s religion outside the four walls of a church or other house of worship. Public prayer is not government sanctioned religion.
The former high school football coach’s silent prayer of gratitude after each game constitutes an exercise of his First Amendment rights, not a violation of them.
The Court further ruled that the Exercise Clause does not take a back seat to the Establishment Clause, nor are the two incompatible. Americans, even those employed by public entities, have a fundamental right to express their religious beliefs publicly.