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Cradle of Liberty case pushed back to end of 09

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If the city had or was in the process of doing the same thing to all groups that have membership requirements, then the city would have a good case. However, the city has singled out the Boy Scouts and ignored other groups. I am not an attorney but from this preliminary ruling, the Boy Scouts must have a valid point of law.

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Thanks, NJ. The last time I got "it depends" from a lawyer it cost me five grand.


Who knows what may have been written into a lease in 1920, but wouldn't there typically be some sort of liquidated damages? I mean, if we signed such a lease, you built a $10 million building and I immediately gave notice of termination, you may be a little upset with me.

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From this appeal: http://www.bsalegal.org/downloads/Cradle_of_Liberty_v_Philadelphia.pdf it appears that the agreement was an ordinance, not an actual lease (see point 15 of the appeal).


The BSA makes several claims against the city, but it does not claim that the city is breaking the terms of the ordinance, which would lead me to guess that the city is ok on that particular front.


The BSA does claim that:

1. Other groups (Baptists, Catholics, Women's group) that have restrictive membership policies also have the benefit of below-market leases, and that Scouts has been singled out due to its viewpoint, which is a violation of freedom of association.

2. For the same reason, the city's action is a violation of the equal protection clause.

3. For the same reason, the city's action is a violation of the free speech section of the Pennsylvania constitution.

4. For the same reason, the city's action is a violation of the equal protection clause of the Pennsylvania constitution.

5. The city and council had reached an agreement that if the council adopted a non-discrimination statement, they would let the Scouts stay. The council did adopt a "no unlawful discrimination" statement that was acceptable to the city. Then the city later decided this was insufficient, but the BSA claims that was a breach of contract. (this appears to be a verbal contract or something, not an officially documented legal-looking "contract").

6. Unlawful enrichment. They are saying that if the city takes the building, they need to pay the BSA for the value of what they are taking.


But at no point do they actually argue that the action itself is unconstitutional - only that it is not permissible to enforce the non-discrimination law against one particular group. That does seem like a reasonable argument to me. Maybe someone with standing needs to bring a similar case against the other organizations, though.

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People reaction to lease termination is understandable but also perplexing. Out here we have leases on tribal land. Nearby the Tulalip Tribes have a lot of non-native living in homes built on land leased to them by the tribes in a prime waterfront area. The land has been leased for 50+ years

A couple of years ago the tribes informed some of the leaseholders that this was going to be the last five or ten year renewal of their leases. The tribes are not going to lease them back out but their land planning agency has figured out in a few years the property will slid in to Port Gardner Bay. The removal of the structures will slow or stop the ground from sliding.


The revolt is on. I think some of those leaseholders dont understand what lease means. They are trying to covert the land into private property. The problem is that nearby some of the land inside the tribal reservation is owned by non-tribal members but governed by the tribes land use rules as the county and state land use rule are not applicable to tribal land. This creates friction between the tribes and the non-tribal members.


I read somewhere on the southern Atlantic coast leaseholders on federal land in now wilderness or wildlife protected land are fighting the governments refusal to renew their agreements.


So termination of leases like what is happening in Philadelphia brings up the same bad feelings and legal troubles.


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I love these chicken or the egg type cases. This whole thing was poorly thought out from the get go. Legally the BSA owned the building but gave up that right when they donated it to the city, as far as a lifetime lease is concerned it depends wholely on the wording of the document and any loopholes that might exsist in it. If the agreement is airtight then the city will have no choice but to honor it. This is yet another case of poor management on the BSA side and political posturing on the city's side. It will be interesting to see how this comes out.

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