Boy Scouts Sue Philly over Impending Eviction

Daily News Article - May 29, 2008


1. Why have the Boy Scouts of Philadelphia file a lawsuit against the city?

2. For what reason does the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council say the city has raised their rent?

3. a) Who built the building?
b) Who owns the building?
c) Who owns the land that the building is on?

4. a) Who pays $60,000 a year to maintain the building?
b) How much money has the city put into the building?

5. How much money did the Boy Scouts spend renovating the building in 1994?

6. Describe the Philadelphia City Council's May 2007 vote.

7. Consider the following:
--The Boy Scouts' suit alleges that the city of Philadelphia lets more than 1,000 nonprofit groups meet on city property for little to no rent, including a Baptist church, a Roman Catholic church and the Philly chapter of the Colonial Dames of America.
--It also argues that the city is trying to punish them for exercising their First Amendment rights.
--City Solicitor Shelley Smith told the Associated Press that the Scouts are "free to exercise their First Amendment rights" but that "What they're not free to do is get a benefit from the city while violating our policy."
--The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Scouts have a constitutional right to choose their adult leaders and not to hire adult leaders they don't want to, and the city cannot penalize them for those values."

What do you think of the city's treatment of the Boy Scouts?
Does the city have the right to force the Scouts to follow their policy despite the 2000 Supreme Court ruling? 
Explain your answers.

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