Judge Gorsuch called the outdoor prayers of high school football coaches “quiet” and “personal” because the Supreme Court upheld religious rights. Sotomayor said the explanation was “misunderstanding the facts.”


Judge Neil Gorsuch / Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Judge Neil Gorsuch / Judge Sonia SotomayorGetty Images

  • The Supreme Court upheld a former high school coach who was fired for a major prayer after a soccer match.

  • Judge Neil Gorsuch writes that the coach made a “quiet and personal prayer.”

  • However, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said coach-led prayers included many players, and Gorsuch’s hallmark was “misunderstanding the facts.”

Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court told her colleague Neil Gorsuch that his decision to pray for a former soccer coach “misunderstood the facts” of the case.

The Supreme Court upheld a former high school football coach who was dismissed from his position for leading prayers on the 50-yard line shortly after the match in a 6-3 decision on Monday.

Judge Neil Gorsuch made a number of comments on the case, and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District wrote:

In his opinion, Gorsuch writes that coach Joe Kennedy led a “quiet and personal prayer.”

But in her dissent, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said Kennedy’s prayers were not as trivial as the court’s opinion claimed.

“This record shows that Kennedy had a long-standing practice of empirical prayers on the 50-yard line of the football field. Kennedy consistently invited others to his prayers, For many years, he led student athletes to pray at the same time and place, “written Soto Mayor. “The court is ignoring this history.”

Soto Mayor also included a photo of Kennedy’s post-match prayer in her dissenting opinion. This shows many students gathered around him in the field.

During this prayer on September 11, 2015, she wrote, “The player knelt around him, lifted the player’s helmet and guided the prayer out loud.”

Kennedy initially sued the Bremerton School District, claiming that their request to stop his prayers violated his First Amendment rights.

The district claimed that it did not object to Kennedy’s prayer and offered the option to return to the field after students and other bystanders left the area after the match, asking Kennedy to pray alone away from the student. I did.

The school district said Kennedy’s actions could be seen as government approval of a religion prohibited by the First Amendment.

After several lower courts dismissed his legal objections, Kennedy eventually turned to the Supreme Court, which took up his case and ultimately upheld him.

Sotomayor broke the court’s decision in dissenting, alleging that it eroded the separation of church and state.

“The courts are on the dangerous path of forcing the state to be intertwined with religion, with all our rights balanced,” Sotomayor said. “Like the courts protest in other ways, today’s decision is not a victory for religious freedom.”

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