Federal appeals court reverses decision barring prayer during high school sporting event
Pexels / Pixabay
Federal appeals court reverses decision barring prayer during high school sporting event

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday reversed, in part, a decision barring two religious schools in Florida from conveying prayers over a loudspeaker before a state championship football game.

In 2015 Cambridge Christian School and University Christian School faced off in the Division 2A State football game. The football game was supervised by Florida High School Athletic Association, a state actor, which denied the school’s request for a prayer before the game.

Cambridge Christian alleged that its right to freedom of speech and free exercise was violated by the prayer denial. The complaint was dismissed for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) by the Florida Middle District State Court. The decision was appealed.

The Eleventh Circuit decided “the schools’ claims for relief under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses have been adequately and plausibly pled” and that the district court’s decision was made too hastily without complete consideration of the factual claims. The Eleventh Circuit is allowing the Cambridge Christian’s schools claim to be heard in regards to free speech and exercise clause.

However, the appeals court agreed with the district court’s dismissal of the Cambridge Christian’s school’s claims of relief under the Florida Religious Free Restoration Act because it failed to meet a substantial burden and its claim for relief under Establishment Clause claims.