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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Supreme Court rejects coach’s appeal over prayer, for now

In this Nov. 5, 2015 photo, former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy poses on the field at Bremerton Memorial Stadium in Bremerton, Wash. (Larry Steagall / Associated Press)
In this Nov. 5, 2015 photo, former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy poses on the field at Bremerton Memorial Stadium in Bremerton, Wash. (Larry Steagall / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a former Seattle-area football coach who lost his job because he refused to stop praying on the field.

But four conservative justices say Tuesday that they are interested in former Bremerton High School Coach Joe Kennedy’s case and the legal issues it raises.

Lower courts said Kennedy was not immediately entitled to get his job back. Courts rejected Kennedy’s claim that the school district violated his speech rights by putting him on paid leave after he continued to pray at midfield following games.

Justice Samuel Alito says the high court is right to reject the appeal for now, but says he is troubled by lower courts’ handling of the case. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas joined with Alito.

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