Praying on football field? SCOTUS weighs free speech case

A football player prays on one knee. Football coach Joseph Kennedy in Washington state says his contract was not renewed because he publicly led prayers after a game. Photo by Shutterstock.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case about a public high school football coach who led a prayer on the playing field. 

Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson explains: “It previously has been fairly clear that when it comes to public school teachers in particular, that engaging in religious activities that … would amount to prayer or other similar religious activities, that that's not okay. Because it is a government actor, really encouraging religious activity, that they have a position of power over students, that they grade students, that they're in a position of authority, that they have great influence over students.”

But she argues that despite legal precedent, the current makeup of the Supreme Court could rule in favor of the football coach. 

Meanwhile, a New York judge is holding former president Donald Trump in contempt of court for refusing to hand over his business records to State Attorney General Leticia James. He’s being investigated over whether he manipulated the value of his properties. Trump will be fined $10,000 a day until he complies with the subpoena. 

The judge now wants Trump to hand over more documents or sign under oath that there aren’t any more, says Levinson.

She says it’s all about whether Trump is being truthful over his financial dealings: “Are you lying and saying the stuff that you own is worth a lot of money because you want to get good loans? And are you lying and saying the stuff that you own is not worth that much because you don't want to pay a lot of taxes? It's much more complicated, but that's what it boils down to.”