Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Ninth Circuit Knocks Down Coach’s Hail Mary

October 2017 Bar Bulletin

By Gene Barton

When Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joseph Kennedy knelt at midfield and led players and others in prayer after a game, thus defying the Bremerton School District’s admonition that he not do so, Kennedy knew his job was, literally, on the line. On August 23 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton, who had denied Kennedy’s request for an injunction, thereby finding that the coach had stepped out of bounds and had no pass protection under the First Amendment, and flagging him for putting the District at risk of an Establishment Clause penalty.1...

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