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

St. Louis Hawk

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85% of the people here on both sides have no idea what prior case law or precedent says.

Higher.

More concerning is the basic breakdown in facts cited by the majority and the concurring opinion vs. those in the dissent.

When the Justices can't agree on the facts in the evidentiary record, much less the law, there's going to be trouble in River City.
 
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globalhawk

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That might sound fine to you, but a public school can't force one of their employees to surrender his rights as a condition of employment. There is no separation of church and state anywhere in the Constitution as many believe. One can't be forced to participate but one can't be forced not to either.
Are you okay with a Muslim prayer at midfield?
 

Caravaggio Hawkeye

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The students that are on the team may perceive that there are consequences for them. If he is praying by himself at the middle of the field I don't think any issue is raised but if it becomes an expectation then it could be an issue.

So these same students that are mature enough to make life altering decisions about their genders, are not not able to make a simple choice if they want to join a prayer.

Some of us give a little more credit to the players thought making process on their ability to decide what is best for themselves.
 

phantom_204

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Is there evidence he did that?
I think a coach that makes sure he is leading the prayer at the 50-yard line after the game, although he has been asked to do it elsewhere is trying to set an example that is what should be done after a game. Not a lot of reasons to insist to do it at that spot at that time otherwise. Just a personal opinion.
 
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tarheelbybirth

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So these same students that are mature enough to make life altering decisions about their genders, are not not able to make a simple choice if they want to join a prayer.

Some of us give a little more credit to the players thought making process on their ability to decide what is best for themselves.
Oh look...more false analogies. Those young people are making those personal choices in consultation with their parents and health professionals.
I am not the one who is threatened by someone kneeling to pray. It is no different than a coach kneeling for the National Anthem.
You can't kneel for the national anthem!! Are you crazy?? THAT personal choice is an absolute no-no.

Now - try to keep up...this is about state sponsorship of religion and coercion on others under the coach's authority to take part. That's a violation of a fundamental right under the Constitution. Parents testified under oath that their children felt compelled to join their coach in his very public display of his "piety". That's a fact that none of you has yet acknowledged. Why is that?
 

Caravaggio Hawkeye

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Oh look...more false analogies. Those young people are making those personal choices in consultation with their parents and health professionals.

You can't kneel for the national anthem!! Are you crazy?? THAT personal choice is an absolute no-no.

Now - try to keep up...this is about state sponsorship of religion and coercion on others under the coach's authority to take part. That's a violation of a fundamental right under the Constitution. Parents testified under oath that their children felt compelled to join their coach in his very public display of his "piety". That's a fact that none of you has yet acknowledged. Why is that?

That is hearsay. Why didn't any player testify that?

How do we know this parent is not some Christianity hating lib like you?

As any rational person can see your point has no merit.
 
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bdcolt45er

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So these same students that are mature enough to make life altering decisions about their genders, are not not able to make a simple choice if they want to join a prayer.

Some of us give a little more credit to the players thought making process on their ability to decide what is best for themselves.
Not sure what your point is here. They can make decisions. Some of the kids have indicated that they made the decision to participate even though they didn't feel that the prayer circles were consistent with their spirituality. Why should they be asked to make this decision?



If you want to empower the kids then why are they not leading the post game prayer circle?
 
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binsfeldcyhawk2

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Caravaggio Hawkeye

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Not sure what your point is here. They can make decisions. Some of the kids have indicated that they made the decision to participate even though they didn't feel that the prayer circles were consistent with their spirituality. Why should they be asked to make this decision?



If you want to empower the kids then why are they not leading the post game prayer circle?

OMG the horror.

"Hey Champ, want to join in a prayer now that the game is over?"

"No Coach, I just scored the winning TD., so I am now going to score with the head cheerleader."

Wow that must be so traumatic for the players to be ask that question. Probably take years of therapy to overcome it.
 

Hawknado

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“WhAt If hE wAs mUsLim,” it would be allowed as well. Typically their place of prayer has to be nice and clean place, which a used football field may not fall under. I don’t know where this idea of unequal application of the first amendment comes from. Actually I do, the strawman that has been used for years by the left.
 

23 so far

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I’m glad teams aren’t already doing this at the pro and college level by some of the players and coaches going to the middle of the field. Oh wait….
It's like these idiot Lib's don't own a TV or have ever read an article on the Internet about Muslims and prayer and their "demands". Those whacky fun loving Muslims! LOL!
 

Aardvark86

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Higher.

More concerning is the basic breakdown in facts cited by the majority and the concurring opinion vs. those in the dissent.

When the Justices can't agree on the facts in the evidentiary record, much less the law, there's going to be trouble in River City.
agreed. i may take a little time this weekend to look at the appendix to the briefs.
 

Finance85

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Higher.

More concerning is the basic breakdown in facts cited by the majority and the concurring opinion vs. those in the dissent.

When the Justices can't agree on the facts in the evidentiary record, much less the law, there's going to be trouble in River City.
This ^. I was fortunate enough to listen to the oral arguments, and then read the transcript. The opinions clearly differ on the actual facts, and that's where the coercion issue might make a difference.
 
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HawkInDC

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It matters not what his "record" is. He is an authority figure under contract to the state. Until he is on his own time...which isn't until all of his players are beyond his supervision...his actions have a coercive, compulsory effect. Period. That's not even arguable to a rational person. Hell, he could have ordered players to not accompany him specifically to establish his "record of noncoercion". Seeking to be a test case would logically follow from his "march to midfield" conceit.

Sexual harassment in the workplace seems a good analogy here.

I am free to hit on women just about anywhere. But, in the workplace, as an authority figure, there really is no gray area.
 
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HawkeyeShawn

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A team prayer happens at thousands of high schools, at every level, before sporting events. A majority of those prayers are led by the coach or local minister. Nobody cared…until somebody did. Pregame prayers were going to continue to happen regardless of this ruling. But they can exhale a bit, knowing they are protected by someone who thinks they were damaged by a prayer.
 

FAUlty Gator

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The dumb thing about the “coach will punish those who don’t pray” argument is that they don’t take into consideration the fact that Coach has his head down and eyes closed during the prayer. In the hundreds of post game/practice prayers I’ve been in, I had no idea who was or wasn’t involved in the prayer. Every time.
 

Finance85

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Here's a link to the oral argument transcript.
Page numbers are Adobe numbers for easier searching.

See pages 4-5.

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2021/21-418_j4ek.pdf

Breyer questions the facts in the lower court records on pages 19-23. Nothing contradicts the facts stated in the opening.

There's a discussion about praying at practices on page 33. Kennedy apparently discontinued that.

Respondent's opening statement is on pages 57-58. There's a slight difference in how the facts are stated.

Even with the differences stated by the lawyers, nobody was required to join the prayer. Kennedy did go out of his way to "invite" others, including the press and opposing teams.

The issue of possible coercion was discussed throughout the entire session.
 

Aardvark86

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Here's a link to the oral argument transcript.
Page numbers are Adobe numbers for easier searching.

See pages 4-5.

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2021/21-418_j4ek.pdf

Breyer questions the facts in the lower court records on pages 19-23. Nothing contradicts the facts stated in the opening.

There's a discussion about praying at practices on page 33. Kennedy apparently discontinued that.

Respondent's opening statement is on pages 57-58. There's a slight difference in how the facts are stated.

Even with the differences stated by the lawyers, nobody was required to join the prayer. Kennedy did go out of his way to "invite" others, including the press and opposing teams.

The issue of possible coercion was discussed throughout the entire session.
No doubt the issue of coercion came up at the oral argument, but I think what you really need to look at is the appendix (367 pp including affidavits, etc., also available via the scotus site.) While I have not made my way through the whole thing, I will note that from the pics that are in the appendix, there is certainly a "demonstrative" quality to his prayer that, frankly, has the look of getting a little out of hand in a way that a reasonable observer could say the perception is this is school sanctioned activity, and the comment from the opposing coach to the effect that it was cool that the district "let" him do this are interestingly ambiguous. Beyond that, I think one has to consider whether the DCT found any facts regarding those matters that are in the record that might go to the issue of public perception. It's possible that the "real" correct remedy in this case would have been to say the CTA and DCT applied the wrong standard in trying to reconcile 1A free exercise and establishment clause principles, and that the case should be remanded for the DCT to consider the facts in light of the correct standard in the first instance.

What is perhaps a bigger question cropping up in my mind is whether there is really a fairly simple solution for situations like this where you have competing free exercise and establishment clause concerns. If the establishment clause risk is that personal activities will be construed by the public as state-sanctioned activities, why can't situations like this be resolved through simple disclaimers of various sorts? We rely on those sorts of mechanisms in pretty much every other circumstance in our commercial and legal lives. Moreover, the really ironic part of this whole situation is that, taking into account the apparent press coverage, pissing match, and legal machinations that occurred prior to the "big game," if there was one thing that should have been VERY clear to everyone, it was that the school district was NOT sanctioning this religious exercise activity.
 
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BrunoMars420

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Bullshit. If you're a player on that team, you're compelled to participate or risk being ostracized.
Lol, I’m an atheist and my coach knew and took me aside and said I didn’t have to participate in prayer. I told him they could still pray before Thursday meals and I will sit there in silence because I didn’t care. No one gave a shit on the team because we were HS dudes. Ostracized lol gtfo with that nonsense
 
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ANYCHawk

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Lol, I’m an atheist and my coach knew and took me aside and said I didn’t have to participate in prayer. I told him they could still pray before Thursday meals and I will sit there in silence because I didn’t care. No one gave a shit on the team because we were HS dudes. Ostracized lol gtfo with that nonsense

you don't know many young people do you?
 

globalhawk

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Lol, I’m an atheist and my coach knew and took me aside and said I didn’t have to participate in prayer. I told him they could still pray before Thursday meals and I will sit there in silence because I didn’t care. No one gave a shit on the team because we were HS dudes. Ostracized lol gtfo with that nonsense
I have said before that I wasn't religious even in high school and never cared that our football coach gave a halftime prayers. I really don't think it is appropriate at a public school in today's environment.