scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: TODAY was: BSA Court again tomorrow
Wed Apr 26 2000 - 14:44:58 CDT
BSA v Dale was heard at the Supreme Court today.
I decided to go and get a glimpse of history. All I got was a glimpse.
The day dawned cool and overcast, and I arrived at the front steps at
9:00am, and should have arrived MUCH earlier.
The skys cleared just after 9:00am and we were basking under a warming
sun together with many high school students who were visiting D.C. The
lines seemed long and I wondered if I'd even get in.
Other than conversing with people near you in line the group was quiet
except for several persons who acosted the students with handouts and
orally about how G-d's message excludes gays.
If any of you have been to the Court you know that while it's sessions
are open to the public the seating is extremely limited. Besides the
press and invited spectators there was seating for fewer than 30 for the
BSA v. Dale was the only case heard today. And, as is the norm the Court
strictly limits oral arguements and questioning from the bench to a
total of 60 minutes. The actual proceedings started at 10:00
The Court guards decided that given the numbers lined up that they would
let small groups of about 16 persons enter the Chamber and sit on extra
chairs in the back for three minutes apiece.
I was in the next to the last group to get in (about 10:55) at which
time (as I heard it) Justices Souter and Ginsburg were raising questions
about the burden upon BSA in changing its literature (vis-a-vis
enclusion or gender preference) and were told that though there is an
abundance of materials there would be no burden because BSA literature
actually stands mute on the subjects.
It would have been interesting to hear the entire oral presentations and
questioning, but such was not to be. There are arcane matters which the
Court hears where one can listen to the entire boring (subjective)
Guess I'll have to read about it in the newspaper. It would be nice if
the Court would enter the Twentyfirst Century and do streaming video on
the internet. I don't think it would negatively affect the dignity of
the Court procedings - and would allow so many more understand an
element of our Government in action.