Cert Denied in Sea Scouts Case

The SCOTUS denied cert in the case involving the city of Berkeley and the Sea Scouts. The Sea Scouts, affiliated with the Boy Scouts, discriminate against atheists and gays. The city of Berkeley had a program of giving free slips at the city marina to non-profit groups, but not to those groups that engage in discrimination. The Sea Scouts sued all the way to the California Supreme Court and lost. The court essentially ruled that while as a private organization, the Scouts have a right to engage in such discrimination, that doesn't mean that government agencies have to fund their activities or provide subsidies for them. The ruling was unanimous, and the SCOTUS rejected the appeal, allowing that ruling to stand.

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Not granting cert here wasn't much of a surprize. I have a pretty hard time coming up with a legal justification for compelling government to give what is essentially a discretionary grant. There is no "right" being impacted here.

I'd be more interested on what justification they managed to even get to the SCOTUS. From what's said above it looks like such an open and shut case that I'm surprised that the court even elected to hear the case.

By David Durant (not verified) on 16 Oct 2006 #permalink

The 'right' to be given free things by the government that no one else gets?

Oh yeah, the bleating from the RR will begin soon. Wait till ST-ALCU weighs in. Our constitutional right to hate and get your money while we hate you has been infringed!
Oh the activist judges!

> The 'right' to be given free things by the government that
> no one else gets?

Yeah, it's easy to point out when they were obviously wrong on this one. However the SCOTUS aren't going to waste a lot of time and money hearing this case unless they thought there was a valid legal point to debate (or they had a lot of high-level political pressure leaning on them to hear it)...

By David Durant (not verified) on 16 Oct 2006 #permalink

David-

The SCOTUS didn't hear the case. Denying cert means they refused to hear the case. Anyone who has lost in a lower court can file a cert petition, the court decides which ones it will hear.

We should be thankful when the judicial system works the way it is supposed to. Be nice if we could just say "well, of course this is the right outcome" but these days it's worth taking special note.

I blogged about this hours ago, whiel I was going through all my feeds really fast. I hadn't gotten to the 20 items for Scienceblogs.com and I had just assumed you had already done it. Oh, well.