Boy Scouts Win One against the ACLU

The facts, but not the legal conclusions, for this article come from a press release by the Boy Scouts of America. On April 4, 2007, the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision of a US District Court in Chicago that the US Army’s participation in the quadrennial Boy Scout Jamboree was unconstitutional.

Congress had taken the time and interest to pass a statute specifically for the Army’s support of the Jamboree, to be held at Fort A.P. Hill, near Fredericksburg, Va. Despite a Congressional finding that “the military’s logistical support for the National Scout Jamboree is an incomparable training opportunity for our armed forces,” the trial court held that the “duty to God” requirement for Scouts violated the First Amendment.

The Seventh Circuit reversed because the “taxpayers who were the plaintiffs in the case did not have standing [to sue].” Unless the Supreme Court takes the case and reverses the result, this ends the ACLU threat against the next Jamboree, in 2010.