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Statement by Coach Kennedy on his Temporary Relocation

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February 18, 2022

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2.18.22
Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

Statement by Coach Kennedy on his Temporary Relocation
Coach Joe Kennedy responds to suggestion of mootness by Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Washington, DC—Today, lawyers representing Bremerton School District, the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed an extraordinary motion with the Supreme Court of the United States suggesting that the case is moot.  The following is Coach Kennedy’s statement in response:

We have temporarily moved to Pensacola to take care of my father-in-law at a very difficult time in his life.  We expect to return to Bremerton should the Court grant the relief I have sought in my case.

In the course of one week in July of 2019, my father-in-law was divorced, received news that his son had been murdered, and was laid off from his job.  At that time, we began exploring how we might be able to support him.  My wife resigned her employment in the middle of the school year to temporarily move to be near him in March of 2020.  I followed about a month later.

My wife has not lived with her father since the age of 2.  My father-in-law continues to receive regular treatment for cancer, COPD, breathes on about 30% of his lung capacity, and this past fall had major surgery to replace nearly half of his back.  We moved to Pensacola temporarily to be near my father-in-law during this extremely difficult time.  My wife and I dearly love my father-in-law.  We were delighted to celebrate Father’s Day with him for the first time ever just last year.

If the U.S. Supreme Court were to grant me the only relief I have ever sought from the beginning—to be able to return to the sidelines as a football coach at Bremerton High School—I would be back in Bremerton as soon as a plane could take me there.  Our kids live in Bremerton.  Our grandkids live in Bremerton.  My birth mother lives in Bremerton.  Our church family is in Bremerton.  After 20 years in the military, having lived all over the globe, I chose to live in Bremerton because I felt called to invest in the community.  We are eager to return from our temporary assignment of caring for my father-in-law to begin, once again, caring for Bremerton.

The following may be attributed to Hiram Sasser, Executive General Counsel for First Liberty Institute:

If Respondent’s counsel had simply called us before making this unwarranted filing, we would have been happy to inform them of these facts.  Doing so would have saved the resources of the parties and the Court and precluded the need for Coach Kennedy to put these personal details on the public record.  We would encourage them to withdraw the filing promptly.

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

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