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South Carolina joins coalition asking for Supreme Court to review freedom of religion case
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South Carolina joins coalition asking for Supreme Court to review freedom of religion case

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina has joined the fight over a freedom of religion case. 

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Wednesday that he had joined a 24-state coalition asking the Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against a high school coach who was punished for praying alone on a football field in view of students.

The coalition is led by the state attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona and Texas. Other members include attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

The Ninth Circuit includes Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. 

“The Constitution guarantees our right to practice our religion and that doesn’t stop at the schoolhouse door, or football field,” Wilson said. “While schools and teachers cannot promote their religion, it makes no sense to say that a coach praying alone is violating the Constitution.”

The attorneys general argue that the Ninth Judicial Circuit over expanded the scope of the coach's job responsibilities, that the ruling creates problems for governments and their employees and that the ruling threatens the First Amendment right to freedom to exercise one's religious beliefs. 

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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