AFPI Files Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court to Support Coach Fired for Praying After Game

March 03, 2022

Washington, D.C. – America First Policy Institute’s (AFPI) Constitutional Litigation Partnership (CLP), in conjunction with AFPI’s Center for 1776 and Center for Opportunity Now, filed an Amicus Curiae with the United States Supreme Court. AFPI’s brief supports Coach Joe Kennedy, a Marine veteran and long-time high school football coach in Washington state who was barred from coaching in 2015 – and later fired for silently praying at the 50-yard line after each game.

Coach Kennedy first filed suit against Bremerton School District (BSD) in 2016, but the District Court, then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sided with BSD. Now, it is up to the Supreme Court to decide if Americans have the right to freely express their religion or if they must choose between their faith and their job.  

AFPI’s brief utilizes the unique experience and expertise of Coach Lou Holtz and Jack Brewer to demonstrate the long history of faith in sports and the benefits that come from intertwining the two.

AFPI’s full Amicus brief can be read here.

Statement from The Honorable Pam Bondi, Chair of the Constitutional Litigation Partnership:

AFPI is proud to support Coach Kennedy’s case and stand up for Americans’ constitutional rights. Every American has the right to engage in individual religious expression without the fear of losing their job. It is our hope that the Court will uphold religious freedoms in our Nation so that no American will have to be faced with choosing between their faith and their livelihood.”

Statement from Coach Lou Holtz, Chair of Center for 1776:

“Every success that I’ve enjoyed—whether on the field or in life—is directly attributable to my faith, which I’ve never had to hide or defer. I implore the Supreme Court to consider the words of James Madison: ‘The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man, and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.’ This is what’s at stake in this case. Therefore, I offer my unqualified and solemn support to Coach Kennedy.

Statement from Jack Brewer, Chair of Center for Opportunity Now & Vice-Chair of Center for 1776:

“This case is a defining moment in the spiritual future of America. As the majority of our institutions try to balance between the believer and non-believer, patriots like Coach Kennedy have been living examples of fearless obedience to God, similar to our Founding Fathers. I strongly urge the Supreme Court and believers across America to fast, pray, and offer unwavering support for Coach Kennedy in this case.”

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