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Supreme Court revisits case of coach who wanted to pray on football field

The Supreme Court on Monday will hear arguments in the case of a Washington state high school football coach who lost his job for praying on the 50-yard-line in violation of school district orders, The Washington Post reports. It will be the second time the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, has been considered by the high court.

When the court first took up the case in 2019, Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg in declining to hear the case.

At the time, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh expressed sympathy for the free-speech arguments of former Bremerton High School assistant coach Joseph Kennedy, who said he should be allowed to say a post-game prayer of gratitude at midfield.

In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The court's newly expanded 6-3 conservative majority — with Justice Amy Coney Barrett having replaced Ginsberg — has been strongly protective of religious rights. Newly confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will not rule on the case, as Breyer's resignation does not take effect until the end of the current term.