breaking Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after games

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
71,452
51,035
113
The Supreme Court on Monday sided with a football coach from Washington state who sought to kneel and pray on the field after games.
The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.




“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority.
The case forced the justices to wrestle with how to balance the religious and free speech rights of teachers and coaches with the rights of students not to feel pressured into participating in religious practices. The outcome could strengthen the acceptability of some religious practices in the public school setting.

The decision is also the latest in a line of Supreme Court rulings for religious plaintiffs.

 

IACub

HR Legend
Sep 25, 2009
22,471
32,051
113
Iowa City, IA
The only concern I would have would be if there started to be an implicit expectation for the players to participate as well. Otherwise, it is entirely within his right to pray on the field after a game.
Absolutely within his rights. "Wait, wait! Everyone look at me while I pray! Look how pious I am!" Those types of Christians are the kind that kick their dogs. Absolutely within his rights, though.
 

brownd7949hawks

HR All-American
Jan 20, 2004
4,595
4,017
113
Can’t wait for the first Muslim coach to offer a prayer on a public school’s athletic field, then.

I’m sure his First Amendment rights will be viewed and protected just the same by this court.
Are you under the impression Muslims aren’t praying now?
 
  • Like
Reactions: doughuddl2

brownd7949hawks

HR All-American
Jan 20, 2004
4,595
4,017
113
Is it legal? Yes. Does it make you a total douche canoe because you feel the need to show off your faith to everyone in the most public way possible? Also a huge yes.

Hint: The big invisible sky man doesn't give a poop about your football game.
Curious why it offends you?
 
  • Like
Reactions: HawkFan1298

Ray Kinsella

HR Heisman
Oct 1, 2001
7,274
3,796
113
Omaha, NE (b&r Dyersville, IA)
Absolutely within his rights. "Wait, wait! Everyone look at me while I pray! Look how pious I am!" Those types of Christians are the kind that kick their dogs. Absolutely within his rights, though.
I'm not saying it is or isn't a douche move. I feel the same way when a ballplayer crosses home plate after a home run and points to the sky. But it shouldn't be illegal.
 

Aardvark86

HR MVP
Jan 23, 2018
2,371
2,597
113
As I've stated elsehwere, I've always felt this case had something of a contrived 'astroturf' feel to it, and for that reason wish that cert hadn't been granted.

But with that said...
1. This is actually a hard case, as are all of the cases where you actually have a tension between free exercise and establishment clause issues.
2. Here, perhaps the key point in Gorsuch's opinion is that in cases like that where both are in play, a government entity's Establishment Clause "fears" don't generally trump an individual's Free Exercise rights. Thus, discipline like this that has a prophylactic feel to it is likely to come under scrutiny. That's actually not a bad legal principle.
3. Instead, you have to establish some actual establishment clause risk. I have some sympathy for the district's concern that the coach has implied authority here which could result in coercion, particularly having known some football coaches just like this guy. But, the record facts of the matter are the guy seemed to do everything possible to disavow any compulsive intent (which is one of the reasons this feels like an astroturf claim), and at some point you have to acknowledge that.
4. For those of you who are now predicting the doom and gloom of mandatory prayer, etc., well...sigh. While that sort of fear-based marketing is certainly to be expected, it has nothing to do with this case, since it would clearly be an establishment issue and not entail free exercise issues.
 
Last edited:

Hawki97

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Dec 16, 2001
8,512
11,870
113
Iowa City, IA
The only concern I would have would be if there started to be an implicit expectation for the players to participate as well. Otherwise, it is entirely within his right to pray on the field after a game.

“Sure, you were the starting RB Johnny - but you didn’t come pray with me in the middle of the field during my big spectacle god circle jerk. Ride the pine son ‘til you get in line.”
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
46,868
38,825
113
40
The only concern I would have would be if there started to be an implicit expectation for the players to participate as well. Otherwise, it is entirely within his right to pray on the field after a game.

This is a concern but quite frankly I think it's one of those things that you have to either trust that the coach is going to be fair in this department or you need to find a coach that you do trust will be fair.

Because there are a million different ways any coach religious or not could be picking favorites. Religion is only one way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ray Kinsella

StormHawk42

HR Legend
Nov 3, 2009
16,821
18,239
113
Seems like a case the state of Washington/school district probably should have dropped.

Personally have no problem with it if he wasn’t forcing others to join but I suspect if it was a Muslim coach kneeling to the east and praising Allah there would be a different tone from those celebrating the outcome.

Also believe public displays like that are more rooted in attention-grabbing than religion. Same when some recruit tweets a long diatribe about God giving him the strength to de-commit from one school to join another (where he’s getting paid more).
 

FAUlty Gator

HR Legend
Oct 27, 2017
29,711
33,467
113
They say he’s going to be coaching again. So, what happens to the coach there now? Fired? This happened 6 years ago. It’s all different players. Seems kinda screwy.
 

95Hawk

HR Heisman
Nov 21, 2001
7,281
16,737
113
Are you under the impression Muslims aren’t praying now?

That’s not my issue.

My issue is that this SCOTUS with 4/5 Christian therocrats would not evenly apply First Amendment rights across any belief system.

Ask yourself based on the makeup of this court if that’s even a remote possibility. Because it absolutely is. To believe otherwise is unbelievably naive.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
46,868
38,825
113
40
That’s not my issue.

My issue is that this SCOTUS with 4/5 Christian therocrats would not evenly apply First Amendment rights across any belief system.

Ask yourself based on the makeup of this court if that’s even a remote possibility. Because it absolutely is. To believe otherwise is unbelievably naive.

Can you find 1 to 1 cases in this where they did not evenly apply the first amendment rights?
 

Derekd3408

HR Legend
Gold Member
Feb 10, 2011
16,455
25,339
113
Absolutely within his rights. "Wait, wait! Everyone look at me while I pray! Look how pious I am!" Those types of Christians are the kind that kick their dogs. Absolutely within his rights, though.
Someone is all sorts of butthurt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chuck C

kc78

HR MVP
Nov 25, 2002
2,448
6,301
113
44
Pensacola, FL
Is this the coach who would march out to the 50 yard line to make a spectacle of his prayer? Jesus had something to say about that kind of person.

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.
 

Aardvark86

HR MVP
Jan 23, 2018
2,371
2,597
113
That’s not my issue.

My issue is that this SCOTUS with 4/5 Christian therocrats would not evenly apply First Amendment rights across any belief system.

Ask yourself based on the makeup of this court if that’s even a remote possibility. Because it absolutely is. To believe otherwise is unbelievably naive.
Well, Messrs. Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah, and Naveed Shinwari might beg to disagree.
 

95Hawk

HR Heisman
Nov 21, 2001
7,281
16,737
113
Can you find 1 to 1 cases in this where they did not evenly apply the first amendment rights?

Sorry, Hoosier. It’s not about what SCOTUS has done in the past - it’s what it intends to do moving forward. This isn’t the Court of 2020 or even 2021…they’ve gone full-bore Christian zealot. You out of anyone here should know better: precedent has no meaning to this body any longer.

The taint is on this Court.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: Ree4 and abby97

Latest posts