The story of the praying Bremerton coach keeps getting more surreal

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Bremerton assistant football coach Joseph Kennedy had the right to pray on the field, it wasn’t widely understood then that the court had also ordered the school district to give him his job back.

So the school district has been flummoxed about what’s happened since. They complied by offering to reinstate him, they say, and now the football season is in full swing. But Kennedy is nowhere near the sidelines.

“He’s had the paperwork for his reinstatement since August 8th, and we haven’t gotten so much as a phone call,” says Karen Bevers, spokesperson for Bremerton schools.

It’s an increasingly surreal situation for the Bremerton schools. They were ordered to “reinstate Coach Kennedy to a football coaching position,” according to court documents. But the now-famous coach is out on the conservative celebrity circuit, continuing to tell a story about “the prayer that got me fired” — even though Bremerton never actually fired him.

In 2015, he was put on paid leave near the end of the season after holding a series of prayer sessions on the field with students and state legislators. He still got paid for his full assistant coach contract, about $5,000. High school assistants often work on yearly deals, and Kennedy, at odds with the head coach and aggrieved by what had happened, never reapplied to work the 2016 season.

Seattle Times

The Big Legal Threats Trump Will Face If He Loses the Election

Bloomberg outlines the big legal actions that might be brought against Trump if he loses:

Obstruction of justice, Campaign finance violations, Federal tax charges, State tax charges, Real-estate fraud, Emoluments cases, Congressional tax and financial records cases, Multi-Level marketing fraud, Mary Trump’s fraud suit, E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, Summer Zervos’s defamataion suit

Amy Coney Barrett ruled n-word use does not make a workplace hostile

A supervisor calling an employee that word wasn’t proof of an abusive environment, Barrett wrote.

A report from The Independent notes that just last year, serving on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett wrote an opinion upholding the dismissal of Smith v. Illinois Department of Transportation, a case in which fired Black state employee Terry Smith filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit. Among Smith’s assertions is that Lloyd Colbert, his White supervisor, called him the n-word.

Smith didn’t make a strong enough case that harassment was occurring, Barrett asserted.  

“The n-word is an egregious racial epithet. That said, Smith can’t win simply by proving that the word was uttered,” she wrote. “He must also demonstrate that Colbert’s use of this word altered the conditions of his employment and created a hostile or abusive working environment.

The Grio

Barrett was trustee at private school with anti-gay policies

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.

The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.

The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members.

AP

Amy Coney Barrett accused of ‘unconscionable cruelty’ in teen rape case

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has been accused of “unconscionable cruelty” by a watchdog group over her role in an appellate court decision overturning a district court which found a Wisconsin county liable for millions in damages to a woman who alleged she had been repeatedly raped by a jail guard.

“After a 19-year old pregnant prison inmate was repeatedly raped by a prison guard, Amy Coney Barrett ruled that the county responsible for the prison could not be held liable because the sexual assaults fell outside of the guard’s official duties. Her judgment demonstrates a level of unconscionable cruelty that has no place on the high court,” Kyle Herrig, president of the progressive watchdog group Accountable.US, told Salon.

Raw Story

Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr

A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr of abusing his power to sway the election for President Trump and said he was quitting, making him the third sitting prosecutor to issue a rare public rebuke of the attorney general.

“Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will,” Phillip Halpern, a federal prosecutor in San Diego, said in a letter published Wednesday in The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.”

NY Times

Republican Judges Are Quietly Upending Public Health Laws

The Republican Party’s campaign to take over the federal and state courts is quietly upending a long and deeply embedded tradition of upholding vital public health regulations. The result has been a radically novel and potentially catastrophic sequence of decisions blocking state responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

NY Times

Commentary: I won’t work in Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department any longer

Unfortunately, over the last year, Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will in his selective meddling with the criminal justice system in the Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases. In each of these cases, Barr overruled career prosecutors in order to assist the president’s associates and/or friends, who potentially harbor incriminating information. This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Lincoln and that Supreme Court Vacancy: A Deference to Democracy

Lincoln was in a position similar to today’s Republicans. While they rush to cram the Supreme Court with another right-wing justice, Abraham Lincoln set an example (and precedent):

the evidence abounds that Lincoln deferred his choice primarily because he understood how improper—even defiant—it would be to choose Taney’s [deceased SC Justice] successor with only a few weeks left before voters chose the next president.

Just Security

Amy Coney Barret: Religious Zealot in a Judge’s Robe. What Could Go Wrong?

Amy Coney Barret, the moron’s nominee for the Supreme Court:”

There are reports of her viewing herself as a “different kind of lawyer” who holds the belief that a “legal career is but a means to an end… and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”  

Ironically, she calls herself an “originalist”, one who adheres to the original intent of the founders.

Do we need a religious zealot on the Supreme Court? I think not.

James Madison