Notre Dame Regulation School’s Spiritual Liberty Clinic submitted an amicus transient on March 2 urging the Supreme Court of the United States to reaffirm the worth of guarding private religious speech and expression, especially in public schools.
The short was submitted in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which concerned a school district’s suppression of a football coach’s non-public prayer soon after football video games. The Bremerton School District 1st prohibited assistant coach Joseph Kennedy from praying on the discipline where other folks could see him and then fired him when he continued to do so to stay away from the perception of endorsing faith in a public faculty.
The Spiritual Liberty Clinic transient urges the Supreme Courtroom to abandon the so-known as “Endorsement Examination,” which is 1 of a number of policies utilized by courts to ascertain no matter whether a authorities actor these types of as a faculty has operate afoul of the To start with Amendment’s Establishment Clause. That Endorsement Test demands courts to identify regardless of whether a hypothetical “reasonable observer” could possibly look at a federal government actor as “endorsing” non-public religious exercise by failing to suppress it. Courts’ views of that sensible observer fluctuate commonly and supply no crystal clear guidance for teachers and university administrators. The Endorsement Test as a result “encourages federal government officials to be hostile to religion by suggesting that the hypothetical feelings of an imagined observer must trump the religious physical exercise of actual human beings.”
A few students in the Religious Liberty Clinic—Peter Allevato, Luray Buckner, and Elizabeth Totzke—worked on the quick, which was submitted by John P. Murphy Basis Professor of Law Nicole Stelle Garnett, Religious Liberty Initiative Authorized Fellow Francesca Genova Matozzo, and lawyers Michael McGinley ’06 and Steven Engel of Dechert LLP.
Buckner, a next-yr scholar, said, “I was honored to do the job with these types of a expert and insightful workforce on this amicus short. I joined the Spiritual Liberty Initiative to secure the potential of folks like Coach Kennedy to exercise their religion, but I in no way anticipated to be doing it at the Supreme Court.”
“Our transient tends to make a potent argument against the unacceptable suppression of religion in community schools and it sheds mild on how latest regulation qualified prospects perfectly-indicating lecturers to silence spiritual expression. I am hopeful that our endeavours to further religious liberty in The united states will be effective and the legislation will sooner or later mirror our common aid for morality and faith in public existence,” she reported.
“This quick provided the learners with a excellent possibility to operate with two qualified practitioners and get a glimpse of what substantial-level temporary-writing seems to be like in apply,” Matozzo said. “We are grateful to Mike McGinley and Steve Engel for guiding the college students and ended up amazed by the students’ enthusiasm for this venture.”
In 2019 the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the school district concluding that Kennedy’s speech was not secured since he spoke as a general public employee, not a non-public citizen. Kennedy petitioned for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Courtroom that was granted earlier this year.
About the Notre Dame Legislation School Religious Liberty Initiative
Proven in 2020, the Notre Dame Regulation University Religious Liberty Initiative promotes and defends religious liberty for people of all faiths by scholarship, situations, and the Legislation School’s Spiritual Liberty Clinic. The initiative safeguards the freedom of people to maintain spiritual beliefs as nicely as their ideal to work out and express those beliefs and to stay in accordance to them.
The Religious Liberty Initiative has represented persons and corporations from an array of religion traditions to protect the correct to spiritual worship, to maintain sacred lands from destruction, to advertise the independence to pick out spiritual ministers, and to prevent discrimination versus religious faculties and family members.
Find out additional at law.nd.edu/RLI.