In the religious freedom case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (2022), the Supreme Court weighed in on the role of God in football in American public schools. Professor Sarah Barringer Gordon (UPenn Law) explains the case, its impact on the First Amendment's Establishment Clause separating church and state, and the unusual history of religion and football at the Supreme Court.
In Bremerton, the Court decided whether a public school football coach named Joseph Kennedy violated the Establishment Clause by prominently praying at midfield after games. The Court found in favor of the coach and determined that his actions were protected by the Free Speech and Free Exercise protections of the First Amendment. Finally, Prof. Gordon explains the historical ebb and flow of Establishment Clause power and lays out the Court’s new test for evaluating potential violations of church and state after Kennedy v Bremerton.
KENNEDY v. BREMERTON
1st Amendment - “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The Lemon Test Explained – Prof. Sarah Gordon explains the three-part Lemon Test and whether it has been overturned by the Kennedy v. Bremerton case.