Thanks to commentarion pianomover for this follow up to Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case in which Alito scolded the school district’s attorney for trying to unleash facts in the august, legitimate and intergrity-filled halls of the Supreme Court.
To summarize, an assistant football coach prayed his way to paid leave and then sued the district, claiming he had totally not been praying with students, just standing on the side muttering. And he hadn’t been put on paid leave, he’d been fired, and his 1st Am. right to pray violated.
Naturally, the totally legitimate and so awash with integrity that clerks often slip and fall in it Supreme Court said “Sounds legit” and ruled in favor of the extremely devout Christian whose Bible that doesn’t have Matt 6:5-8, Exodus 20:16 or Leviticus 19:11 in it.
So Kennedy is back at the school, quietly praying in a corner or possibly inviting Republican officials to pray with high school students, which isn’t at all weird. Right?
The day of the ruling, Fox News host Sean Hannity expressed doubts the district would follow through. But one of Kennedy’s lawyers clarified that they had no choice: “We’re ready to have that fight. If they want to defy the Supreme Court, I think they’re gonna realize they made a serious mistake.”
Kennedy was sunnier about it all.
“As soon as the school district says ‘Hey, come back,’ I am there, first flight,” he said.
You will be shocked to learn the lying fucker lied.
So the school district has been flummoxed about what’s happened since. They complied by offering to reinstate him, they say, and now the football season is in full swing. But Kennedy is nowhere near the sidelines.
“He’s had the paperwork for his reinstatement since August 8th, and we haven’t gotten so much as a phone call,” says Karen Bevers, spokesperson for Bremerton schools.
So where is he – oh you guessed already. All aboard the Right Wing Express, stopping at Right Wing Rubes and Bank Account!
Instead, as the Bremerton Knights were prepping for the season in August, Kennedy was up in Alaska, meeting with former Vice President Mike Pence and evangelist Franklin Graham. On the eve of the first game, which the Knights won, Kennedy was in Milwaukee being presented with an engraved .22-caliber rifle at an American Legion convention.
The weekend of the second game, which the Knights also won, Kennedy appeared with former President Donald Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Are the students better off without lying, Bible waving, attention-craving hypocrite? Signs point to yes.
He saw Trump get a religious award from a group called the American Cornerstone Institute.
ACI is what Ben Carson is up to these days. The crotch-grabber in chief’s former lackeys trying to stay on his good side by giving him prizes for being the bestest Christian is a powerful metaphor.
Coming up this month, Kennedy’s scheduled to give a talk as part of a lectureship series at a Christian university in Arkansas.
“Place a PR/Publicity Request,” invites his personal website, where he’s known as Coach Joe.
It’s an increasingly surreal situation for the Bremerton schools. They were ordered to “reinstate Coach Kennedy to a football coaching position,” according to court documents. But the now-famous coach is out on the conservative celebrity circuit, continuing to tell a story about “the prayer that got me fired” — even though Bremerton never actually fired him.
I wouldn’t call it surreal, I’d call it 100% right wing, including any death threats school district employees and students have to endure every time he lies again.
As an aside, Danny Westneat’s reporting on the case is the sort of straightforward, bothsideism-free writing that would make the average NYT editor burst into flame.