Justice Served for Coach Joe Kennedy as District Ordered to Reinstate Him

Joe Kennedy (Charisma News archives)
Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds

Yes, there is justice in this world. At least there is for Joe Kennedy.

Kennedy, who was fired in 2015 as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash., for conducting post-game prayers with his team, must be reinstated to his old job by March 2023, several news outlets have reported.

For many years, courts have repeatedly sided with the Bremerton School District in the case. Earlier this year the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the decision in Kennedy's favor.

In July, Kennedy's case became a landmark for religious freedom in America. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kennedy, represented by First Liberty, 6-3. The High Court upheld the right of the former high school football coach to take a knee in quiet, personal prayer at the 50-yard line.

The court ruled that Kennedy's prayer was doubly protected by both the Free Exercise and Free Speech clauses of the First Amendment. In essence, Kennedy has a constitutional right pray, First Liberty said.

After the ruling, First Liberty claimed, "Not only is this a tremendous victory for Coach Joe, but also a win for all Americans."

With the court ruling, the Bremerton School district cannot interfere with or prohibit Kennedy from offering a prayer consistent with the Supreme Court's opinion. The school district also cannot retaliate against Kennedy for "conduct that complies with the terms of the Court's order," the documents said.

Fox News reported that the school district had "offered to let Kennedy pray in other locations before and after games, or for him to pray on the 50-yard line after everyone else had left the premises."

Kennedy refused with the insistence that he would continue his regular practice. After continuing the prayers at two more games, the school district placed Kennedy on leave. What ensued because a national story as it went viral on social media and was reported by many media outlets.

Fox also reported that Kennedy is also entitled to attorney's fees and cost, but the district has said that those feels will ultimately be decided by the U.S. District Court after an "exacting process."

A former gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, Kennedy told the "New York Post" that he had "fought for this right." He also told ABC News earlier this year, "This is a right for everybody. It doesn't matter if you're this religion or that religion or have no faith whatsoever. Everybody has the same rights in America."

Indeed. And in Kennedy's case and perhaps others in the future, justice has been and will be done.

Shawn A. Akers is the online editor for Charisma Media.

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