ACLU has "No Standing" in Case Against Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill

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The Boy Scouts of America holds its Jamboree every four years at Fort A. P. Hill in Fredericksburg, VA. It is a unique opportunity for Boy Scouts to gather and learn patriotism and citizenship while making new friends from across the country.

In 1999, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), however, filed a lawsuit alleging that the Jamboree and the 1972 statute that allows the Defense Department to support the Boy Scout National Jamboree, is unconstitutional.

They represent certain taxpayers who believe this cooperation violates the separation of church and state because of the Boy Scout promise states "do my duty to God". A Federal District Court agreed, and the statue was declared unconstitutional, but the decision was appealed.

In 2005, 90 members of congress filed a brief (pdf) showing their support of the statute and the Boy Scouts Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill. The congressmen, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), argued that the statute was in place to help the military with its own goals, such as recruitment and that the "Defense Department?s support comes in the form of 'non-religious supplies and services.'"

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently dismissed the ACLU's lawsuit, stating they did have have legal standing to bring the case.

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, is pleased with the decision that will allow the "beneficial relationship between the military and the Boy Scouts to continue.


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