Harding University kicks off distinguished lecture series with Coach Joe Kennedy, central figure in supreme court ruling on religious liberty

Sept. 1, 2022 | American Studies Institute |

The Harding University American Studies Institute will host Washington high school football coach Joe Kennedy and attorneys Michael Berry and Stephanie Taub Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Benson Auditorium. Kennedy will share his personal story about the journey “From the 50-yard line to the Supreme Court” while Berry and Tuab will share the legal perspective of this case and others they have worked on. 

Kennedy, an 18-year Marine veteran, was an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School and the central figure in the United States Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. Kennedy made a commitment to God to give thanks after each game for his players’ accomplishments and for the opportunity to be part of their lives. This was met with disapproval from his district and led to a lengthy court battle. On June 27, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kennedy and his First Amendment rights, allowing him to return to the field. 

Stephanie N. Taub serves as senior counsel with First Liberty Institute, focusing on restoring religious liberty in the marketplace. She previously worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Reed O’Connor in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. She graduated from Harvard Law School and is a Blackstone Fellow.

Michael Berry is vice president of external affairs, director of military affairs and senior counsel for First Liberty Institute. Berry previously served seven years on active duty as an attorney with the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and his law degree from The Ohio State University.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit harding.edu/asi or call 501-279-4497. For other Harding events and free and low cost services available to the community, visit harding.edu/community.


Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 110 undergraduate majors; 14 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit harding.edu.

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