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Praying High School Football Coach Loses Case in Appeals Court

Bremerton High School football coach Joe Kennedy used to kneel in prayer at the 50-yard line after football games with anyone who wanted to voluntarily join him on the field. But coach Kennedy not only lost that privilege, he also got suspended from his position by the Washington state school district and his contract was not renewed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that coach Kennedy “took advantage” of his position as a teacher and a coach by praying after games. The judges declared that Kennedy acted to “press his particular views upon impressionable and captive minds before him.”

Kennedy is standing by his First Amendment rights, and his legal counsel is considering whether to petition for a rehearing or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

Meanwhile, Franklin Graham is calling all high school football coaches to pray after their games this Friday in support of coach Kennedy. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that coaches can’t pray or make religious gestures on the field after a game,” wrote Graham on his Facebook page last Friday. “These progressive activist judges have gone too far.”

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ADF Encourages 9th Circuit to Uphold Daleiden’s First Amendment Rights

Through a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List Education Fund, Alliance Defending Freedom is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal for an en banc (“by all the judges”) review of a three-judge panel’s split decision in National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress.

The panel upheld a trial court’s decision that barred David Daleiden from releasing videos made while attending National Abortion Federation conferences in 2014 and 2015. The case relates to the First Amendment rights of investigative journalists.

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