TEXAS (ValleyCentral) — Texas officials call the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District a victory for Americans of all faiths.
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District was taken to the supreme court after Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach from Washington and a Christian, was fired for refusing to stop kneeling in prayer after games.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued a statement earlier today, praising the decision.
“I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for affirming our First Amendment right to freely practice religion,” Patrick said. “Today’s judicious ruling is a great victory for Americans of all faiths.”
He said now that the supreme court has made a decision in Kennedy’s favor, it is clear that the government cannot infringe on personal displays of prayer.
As a freshman Senator in 2007, Patrick passed legislation to place “In God We Trust” in the Senate chamber for the first time in Texas history.
He was also the Senate sponsor to place “Under God” in our state pledge that session.
Sen. Ted Cruz also issued a news release, stating his opinion on the ruling.
Cruz said the legal question, in the case, was whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals got it right when they ruled that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment means that a government institution must fire a public employee for practicing his or her faith if there is a chance someone may interpret the individual’s expression of faith as government-endorsed religion.
The clause prevents the government from establishing a religion.
“Not only is that conclusion patently absurd, it completely ignores the original understanding of the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent,” Cruz said. “The Establishment Clause is frequently misunderstood.
“It’s not some kind of disinfectant used to silence individuals who exercise their faith or to remove faith from the public square. Rather, both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause are meant to operate in tandem to stop government from persecuting faith,”
Both state officials said they will stand to protect the free exercise of religion and uphold the “God-given right to practice our faith.”