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Merlyn_LeRoy

Pentagon agrees to tell US bases not to sponsor Boy Scout units

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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

 

Let's see ..... Scout troop chartered (owned) by a military base ..... violates the 1st Amendment ....... hmmm ...... I must be missing something here ...... hmmmm ..... did congress pass a law regarding this ........ musta missed that too.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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But that isn't how you summarized my position earlier; you said "Merlyn and his friends will try to push the point further, to argue that government facilities can't offer access to groups that discriminate," which is quite different. "Government facilities" are quite different from "military bases".

 

And I would describe my position as "the BSA should be treated the same as any other discriminatory group"; that means the military can presumably bar all discriminatory groups equally, or permit all equally (though, as I said before, the military has a legitimate government interest in barring discrimination on its own bases). If the BSA is permitted on base while other discriminatory groups are not, they aren't being treated equally, they are again getting preferential treatment by the government.

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Ed, we have discussed your interpretation of the First Amendment a number of times, and I have no desire to do it again, but let me ask you this:

 

If the Department of Defense felt that there was an argument to be made against the ACLU position on governmental ownershp of Scouting units, don't you think that it would have continued to litigate the case, instead of settling? This is not some "liberal" administration, after all. The president has been a vocal supporter of the Boy Scouts, and I'd guess that his personal interpretation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is about what yours is. If the Department of Defense felt they could have continued to have BSA units chartered directly to military units, they would have continued with that part of the case. But they knew they were going to lose, so they gave in and evidently decided to focus on other aspects of the case. That ought to tell you something.

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This post is not addressed to Merlyn. It's an attempt to get some people to ask some questions.

 

I'll start:

 

How is it that a US district judge -- not a federal judge, is able to order the defense department to do anything?

 

Why is it that the only people quoted in the article are ALCU members or attorneys for the ALCU? If the article (which is actually a press release in my mind) were balanced, would there not be a statement from a DOD official?

 

How did a lawsuit by the Illinois ACLU become binding (nowhere does it say it is) on a federal level? If it did become binding, don't you think the ACLU folks (who are the only ones speaking about this) would have trumpeted the victory in a big way.

 

I'm just asking questions that occur to me. I'm not interested in entering the athiest debate. Learned my lesson on that one.

 

I know what I believe. I know no one is going to change my mind and talking to me about it just isn't worth my time or anyone elses. It's probably the same going in the other direction.

 

I do, however, resent "spin."

 

Unc.

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Very interesting questions, Unc. I wonder what the facts will state. And when I say facts, I don't mean one person's view of them, but black and white with official seals in place kind of facts.

 

Carol

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Uncleguinea asks:

 

How is it that a US district judge -- not a federal judge, is able to order the defense department to do anything?

 

A US district judge (formally, a Judge of a United States District Court) IS a "federal judge." The District Courts are the lowest rung of the federal judicial system. That is where all (well, almost all) lawsuits are filed, trials are held, orders are entered, etc. The Courts of Appeal review decisions of the District Courts, and the Supreme Court reviews appellate decisions of the Courts of Appeal and the highest appellate courts in each state. (Generally speaking.) So a District Court was where this case would have started, and where at least part of it has been settled, and the District Court will continue to deal with the other issues.

 

I do not know the answers to your other questions, except that in the third question, a District Court judgment is binding on the parties to the case, even if one of them is the United States government. In most cases if the government appealed the judgment to the Court of Appeals, it would probably be able to get a "stay pending appeal," meaning the ruling would not go into effect right away. There can also be (and often are) situations where different District Courts and/or Courts of Appeal can make contradictory rulings, which is one of the reasons we have a Supreme Court. But I think what we are talking about here is a partial settlement, and part of settling a case is that there will be no appeal.

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Unc,

 

I beleive the point is that the suit was "settled". As I understand law, and mostly I don't, a settlement is what two parties opposing each other in a legal matter do when one side doesn't want the final determination to come down to a judge's or a jury's decision. Its the American judicial equivalent to Lets Make a Deal. The judge didnt decide anything, the Pentagon agreed to tell bases not to directly sponsr/charter scouting units to make the legal wrangling go away. So, as has been etablished, USOs are private so they can be CO's. I dont see it as a problem, then again I ask our military brothers do you see any problems?

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OGE says:

 

As I understand law, and mostly I don't, a settlement is what two parties opposing each other in a legal matter do when one side doesn't want the final determination to come down to a judge's or a jury's decision.

 

That is correct except where you say "one side," I would say "both sides" or "all sides." Each side evaluates its likelihood of success, and if it is a case about money, the range of likely outcomes, and has to determine whether what the other side is offering (or will accept) is advantageous. "Let's Make a Deal" is about right but there also is an element of gambling involved. You are trading the possibility of a much better (or much worse) outcome for the certainty of whatever you agree to. Settlements take the control away from the judge and/or jury and put it back with the parties. (If the parties can agree.)

 

In this particular case, the Department of Defense's decision also is sort of a "strategic retreat." Later on in the case, when the judge decides whether the ACLU's legal fees get paid by the government, and how much -- as well as whatever other issues remain in the case -- you can be sure the DoD will remind the judge, Look how reasonable we were, we voluntarily made this change, and the ACLU will respond, Yeah, once you knew for sure you were going to lose. (And each side will of course say other stuff, and then the judge will decide.)

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Wow I did not think this would happen in my lifetime! Do soldiers still pray before action or is that also forbiden by the ACLU. Now there will be no need for Chaplins just tell them they are an enemy of the state. Next the ACLU will be free to tear down every cross on any public place; then remove God from our hearts and minds. The enemy of FREEEDOM is the ACLU. PRAY for our coun

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Hey LeRoy,

 

I know you are busy thinking up empty answers to all the questions,but you didn't answer Its Me question "What religion does the BSA discriminate against?"

The next thing the ACLU will try is to ban chaplains from the military.

I just cannot wait to read your posts,the only person who can talk in circles and never give a direct answer to any questions or an answer that makes any sense. Get a life.

 

"GOD" I Love Scouting

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A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent and is so at all times, not just when its' convenient for him to do so and especially when faced with trying times.

 

Its easy to follow the Law when times are easy, your charactor is shown when times are difficult...

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Every post has community organizations, VFW's, and Americna Legions who will gladly pick up any slack. It does seem to me to target the kids of our military people serving overseas the most. On the other hand, the troops and pack shouldn't miss a beat.

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