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

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Published: January 22, 2019, 9:08am

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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