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High Court Declines Boy Scouts Lease Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today decided not to hear a dispute over the city of San Diego's bargain lease of parkland to the Boy Scouts.

In 2003, U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones said San Diego's lease with the Boy Scouts for land at Balboa Park and Fiesta Island violated federal law. Jones called the Scouts a religious group because it requires members to take an oath to God. And the city's lease with the Scouts for a nominal annual fee, the judge said, amounted to government assistance to religion.

The American Civil Liberties Union's David Blair-Loy says now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' pending decision may have the final word.

"I am very pleased that the court has decided not to hear this issue," said Blair-Loy. "I think that means that the appeals can go forward and be decided on its merits as we've been asking from the beginning."

But there may be another twist. Blair-Loy says the California Supreme Court may also hear the case after all now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to get involved.

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