In this installment of In Summation, Paul brings on special guest host Andrew Heaton of the Political Orphanage podcast to discuss the recent Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton.
What ensues is a great conversation about the First Amendment, specifically the negative and positive rights associated with religious liberty in America. Where is the line between accommodating the free exercise of religion by a state actor and condoning a state-sanctioned religion?
Joseph Kennedy was an assistant high school football coach for the Bremerton School District in Washington State. A devoutly religious man, he would kneel in prayer at the 50-yard line after football games while the students were singing the school fight song, speaking with their friends/family, or heading back to the locker room. This practice became a problem for the school district, who felt that Kennedy's actions were likely violating the establishment clause. When he refused to cease, or change the time or manner in which he prayed, he was ultimately fired, and this law suit resulted.
The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, who had to grapple with the lines between an individuals right to freely exercise their religious practices and the prohibition of any sort of state-sanctioned religion.
We hope you enjoy this deep dive into the legal arguments and merits of the ultimate decision!