S3, Ep. 15: The coach is the loudspeaker and the field is his classroom: Recapping the arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton

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This week, the Supreme Court discussed a coach-led prayer practice on the football field, hearing two very different versions of the facts. Amanda and Holly review Monday’s oral arguments in Kennedy v. Bremerton in this podcast, sharing their four takeaways and playing key courtroom exchanges. From the fights over the facts to conflating the rights of students and school officials, there are plenty of moments that caused more than fleeting concerns.

SHOW NOTES:

Segment 1: Get your facts straight (starting at 00:51)

You can see Amanda’s videos outside the Supreme Court on oral argument day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Amanda and Holly previewed Kennedy v. Bremerton in Episode 14.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State represented the Bremerton school district, and Richard Katskee presented their arguments in the courtroom. First Liberty represented Coach Joseph Kennedy, and Paul Clement presented their arguments in the courtroom.

In this segment, we played the following clips, which are all available from the Supreme Court’s audio recording of the oral arguments:

  • Justice Stephen Breyer (from 15:37 in the oral argument)
  • Justice Elena Kagan and Paul Clement (from 37:59 in the oral argument)
  • Chief Justice John Roberts (from 57:28 in the oral argument)

You can learn more about Kennedy v. Bremerton and read BJC’s brief in the case at BJConline.org/Bremerton.

Segment 2: Tim Tebow, Mohamed Salah, and examples that aren’t relevant to this case (starting at 19:30)

Amanda and Holly mentioned several cases about religion and public schools: Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) Santa Fe v. Doe (2000) Engel v. Vitale (1962) Abington v. Schempp (1963) Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971 – origin of the “Lemon test”)

In this segment, we played the following clips, which are all available from the Supreme Court’s audio recording of the oral arguments:

  • Paul Clement answering a question from Justice Brett Kavanaugh (from 43:26 in the oral argument)
  • Justice Brett Kavanaguh and Richard Katskee (from 01:01:42 in the oral argument)
  • Justice Neil Gorsuch and Richard Katskee (from 01:27:16 in the oral argument)
  • Justice Samuel Alito and Richard Katskee (from 01:18:32 in the oral argument)

The American Jewish Committee, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the General Synod of the United Church of Christ joined BJC’s brief, which was co-authored by Professors Douglas Laycock and Christopher Lund.

Segment 3: Where do we go from here? (starting at 40:40)

Holly’s reaction to the case was quoted in this article from the Los Angeles Times by David Savage: Supreme Court conservatives lean toward allowing football coach’s postgame prayers

Dr. Charles Haynes shared his experience teaching guidelines in the public schools in this piece for Baptist News Global: At the Supreme Court: The First Amendment on the 50-yard-line

Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.

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