Around the Institute: What’s Happening at First Liberty

October 27, 2023
Around the Institue | First Liberty Institute

A weekly roundup of important headlines and exciting things happening at First Liberty.

Coach Joe Kennedy Releases New Book

Our former client Coach Joe Kennedy published his book earlier this week. It’s titled Average Joe: One Man’s Faith and the Fight to Save a Nation. Coach Joe dives into his eight-year legal battle and the Supreme Court victory that not only vindicated his right to pray, but also protected millions of religious Americans.

First Liberty President and CEO Kelly Shackelford wrote the foreword. Here’s a short snippet:

“God regularly uses ‘average’ guys and gals to do extraordinary things. That’s what happened with Coach Joe Kennedy…This all happened because of one average Joe with a heart for God and his country who knew how to fight and to persevere, and knew the importance of the freedoms he fought for. It was in his DNA, just as it is in all of ours as Americans. We don’t back down from a fight when it over our freedoms and the freedoms of others.”

You can order a digital or print copy on Amazon.

A Thank You Message from Gail Blair

We recently received an encouraging email from our former client Gail Blair. We represented her a few years ago when park officials outrageously and illegally banned her from sharing her faith at a public park.

Thanks to YOU, we secured a victory that allowed her to continue sharing the Gospel with others at the park. Your support has a tremendous impact. Gail regularly reaches out to us expressing how grateful she is. We wanted to share this heartfelt message with you:

“This Sunday October 22 Is my 3 Year Anniversary of the very day my case of Wilcox Park & Westerly PUBLIC Library finally resolved!!!:) Thank you First Liberty for the win despite other’s “sin” toward this elderly, blind lady.

Truly it is impossible to express The Insurmountable Joy that I have filling my heart at the very thought of this Victory In Jesus Name! You ALL are an important part of EVERY soul that received a pocket testament AND were spoken to about Eternal Life…so it is not ONLY my puny efforts many times during the week to reach the lost which counts, but your efforts legally that go hand-in-Hand with Our LORD for the Ultimate Win! “When we all get to Heaven, what a Day of Rejoicing THAT will be!” For it is THEN that you all will see how much you truly helped this poor little ol’ blind lady!:)

Filled with tears of Joy at Remembering ALL you have done & are doing!


How States Strike Back at Federal Religious-Freedom Protections

Trey Dimsdale—Executive Director at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy—published an article at the Acton Institute. He discusses how some states are working to circumvent recent Supreme Court rulings and what this means for conscience rights:

“It would serve the ends of advocates for liberty to see state legislatures take religious freedom seriously. While some states have responded and passed new laws that provide more robust free-exercise protections to their citizens, representatives of state legislatures, governors, and attorneys general who should be quite amenable to religious freedom often claim that federal protections are all their citizens need. Unfortunately, that is simply not true…Before those hostile to religious freedom find ways to exploit the gaps, those who want to preserve and advance religious freedom should find ways to close those gaps.”

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