Washington, D.C. — Today, in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Washington state public school violated the First Amendment rights of a football coach who was disciplined for praying with students on the 50-yard line immediately after games. In response, Ben Olinsky, senior vice president of Structural Reform and Governance at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Yet again, the extreme right-wing justices on the Supreme Court have taken the idea of religious freedom in a very alarming direction. In siding with the coach, the justices overruled decades of case law that prohibited government-sponsored prayer in public schools. Government employees should not be able to coerce or pressure children in public school on how or when to pray. That’s exactly what happened in this case, and it’s a violation of religious freedom.
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