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Paul Hastings Drafts Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Joseph A. Kennedy v. Bremerton School District

April 20, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, wrote an amicus brief on behalf of pro bono client Lambda Legal that was filed in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Joseph A. Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. The brief was filed in advance of oral arguments to be held before the Justices on April 25, 2022.

The case involves First Amendment rights and focuses on a public school football coach who was suspended after he prayed at midfield after a game and whether or not the prayer is legally-defined government speech or private and protected.

“The firm is committed to pro bono and this opportunity to represent the leading LGBTQ equity groups before the Supreme Court on such an important First Amendment issue is in alignment with our DEI efforts and helps to move toward a more inclusive place for all,” said Paul Hastings litigation partner and Lambda Legal board member Kecia Reynolds

The brief is in favor of the Supreme Court upholding an earlier Ninth Circuit ruling that the Bremerton School District rightly suspended former assistant football coach Joseph Kennedy after he refused to alter his post-game midfield prayer. Many other groups, including several state Attorneys General, former athletes, and civil rights groups, also drafted amicus briefs in support of the Ninth Circuit decision.

In addition to Reynolds, the team included Thomas ZaccaroSteve KinnairdKyle JonesRachel Ofori, Kevin Brown and Henry Finklestein.

Full text of the brief can be viewed here. Joint filers include the Human Rights Campaign; COLAGE; Family Equality; GLSEN; PLFAG; Equality California; and other national and statewide organizations advocating to reduce discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Paul Hastings is committed to pro bono work and the global community. In 2021, the firm’s lawyers performed more than 77,000 hours of pro bono service, with nearly all lawyers in our U.S. offices and almost half of lawyers in our international offices contributing 20 or more pro bono hours.

At Paul Hastings, our purpose is clear — to help our clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms.

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