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A high school assistant football coach in Bremerton, Washington, drew attention from sectors beyond sports in 2015 when he dropped down, knelt and closed his eyes in prayer after a game.

Reporters, curious out-of-towners and even satanists assembled at the game in anticipation of Joseph Kennedy's move, which ended up evolving into a high-profile case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday, the court ruled 6-3 in favor of the coach with the court’s conservative justices in the majority and its liberals in dissent. The justices said the coach’s prayer was protected by the First Amendment.

“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority.

The case forced the justices to wrestle with how to balance the religious and free speech rights of teachers and coaches with the rights of students not to feel pressured into participating in religious practices. The outcome could strengthen the acceptability of some religious practices in some other public school settings.

In a dissent in Monday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the coach decision “sets us further down a perilous path in forcing states to entangle themselves with religion.” She was joined in her dissent by Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Elena Kagan.