Mercedes Schneider writes about Neil Gorsuch’s opinion on behalf of the Supreme Court’s extremist supermajority, upholding a coach’s right to engage in “personal” and “private” prayer.

The problem, she points out, is that his prayer was neither personal nor private.

Why did Gorsuch distort/PREVARICATE/LIE ABOUT the facts? My guess is that he is advancing an incremental plan by the Court’s extremists to restore prayer in the schools and overturn the 1962 decision that banned it (Engel v. Vitale).

Mercedes S. does something unusual but necessary. She goes beyond the Gorsuch opinion and reads the rulings against the coach in the appellate court, which show how Gorsuch simply ignored the facts of the case.

The appellate court rejected Coach Kennedy’s claim that he was engaged in personal, private prayer:

Below is the Kennedy backstory as detailed by Ninth Circuit Judge Milan Smith (beginning at page 9), who calls Appellant Kennedy’s supposed silent, private prayer narrative “false.” Smith begins by calling out a colleague on the bench, Judge O’Scannlain, for being taken in by it:

Unlike Odysseus, who was able to resist the seductive song of the Sirens by being tied to a mast and having his shipmates stop their ears with bees’ wax, our colleague, Judge O’Scannlain, appears to have succumbed to the Siren song of a deceitful narrative of this case spun by counsel for Appellant, to the effect that Joseph Kennedy, a Bremerton High School (BHS) football coach, was disciplined for holding silent, private prayers. That narrative is false.

Although I discuss the events in greater detail below, the reader should know the following basic truth ab initio: Kennedy was never disciplined by BHS for offering silent, private prayers. In fact, the record shows clearly that Kennedy initially offered silent, private prayers while on the job from the time he began working at BHS, but added an increasingly public and audible element to his prayers over the next approximately seven years before the Bremerton School District (BSD) leadership became aware that he had invited the players and a coach from another school to join him and his players in prayer at the fifty-yard line after the conclusion of a football game. He was disciplined only after BSD tried in vain to reach an accommodation with him after he (in a letter from his counsel) demanded the right to pray in the middle of the football field immediately after the conclusion of games while the players were on the field, and the crowd was still in the stands. He advertised in the area’s largest newspaper, and local and national TV stations, that he intended to defy BSD’s instructions not to publicly pray with his players while still on duty even though he said he might lose his job as a result.

As he said he would, Kennedy prayed out loud in the middle of the football field immediately after the conclusion of the first game after his lawyer’s letter was sent, surrounded by players, members of the opposing team, parents, a local politician, and members of the news media with television cameras recording the event, all of whom had been advised of Kennedy’s intended actions through the local news and social media.

She adds additional details, all of which demonstrate that Justice Gorsuch and his colleagues bought a fictional tale to advance their zeal to restore prayer in the schools.