Press Releases

Former U.S. Attorneys General, Coaches, NFL Hall of Famers Among 36 Briefs Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Coach’s Prayer

March 3, 2022

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3.3.22
Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

Former U.S. Attorneys General, Coaches, NFL Hall of Famers Among 36 Briefs Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Coach’s Prayer
Current NFL Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins & Nick Foles, 27 state AGs also file briefs in pivotal religious liberty case expected to be argued this Spring

Washington, DC–Six former U.S. Attorneys General, Coach Tommy Bowden—son of legendary football coach Bobby Bowden, former college and NFL coach Lou Holtz and America First Policy Institute, and NFL Hall of Famers Steve Largent and Darrell Green joined dozens of individuals and organizations by filing “friend-of-the-court” briefs urging the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse a lower court decision that allowed a school district to fire him because the school district alleged some people might see him take a knee in silent prayer after football games.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from every corner of America for Coach Kennedy to be able to pray, silently by himself on the 50-yard line after games,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty. “We are hopeful the Supreme Court will protect the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired.”

The six former Attorneys General are Ed Meese, Bill Barr, Alberto Gonzales, Mike Mukasey, Jeff Sessions, and former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.

Additional amici include: 56 members of Congress, 27 state Attorneys General, 60 state legislators, Advancing American Freedom, Americans for Prosperity Foundation, American Cornerstone Institute, Young America’s Foundation, Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the National Association of Evangelicals, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Notre Dame Law School Religious Liberty Initiative, Christian Legal Society, Liberty Counsel, the Rutherford Institute, American Center for Law and Justice, Dr. Ben Carson and the American Cornerstone Institute, Betsy DeVos and the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies, Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, Samaritan’s Purse, the Anglican Church in North America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Thomas More Center, Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the Foundation for Moral Law, America First Policy Institute, America First Legal Foundation, the American Constitutional Rights Union, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, The Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Liberty Justice Center, Word of Faith, The Institute for Faith and Family, Protect the First Foundation, The Family Foundation of Virginia, the Illinois Family Institute, the National Legal Foundation, the Pacific Justice Institute, the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, Veterans in Defense of Liberty, the Independence Law Center, the Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty, Galen Black, and dozens of additional elected officials and organizations.

Links to all the briefs are available here.


About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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