Welcome! This forum has a treasure trove of great info – Scouters helping Scouters! Just a heads up, though - all content, information, and opinions shared on this forum are those of the author, not the BSA.

Scouting Forums

Bankruptcy getting closer

Yeah, poking around on sites like Westlaw and Cornell’s LII, it’s clear as mud as to whether or not the ex post facto clause applies to all manner of things that the average person might deem punitive. The courts seem to go both ways about whether or not a nominally civil penalty avoids the question, and it seems to center around whether the statute is masking a fundamentally punitive measure as civil rather than criminal (I think?). Good thing I’m not an attorney. :^)

This has been a fascinating dive into a very narrow part of what attorneys and judges out there deal with on a daily basis. The complexity and occasional appearance of arbitrariness makes my skin crawl as an engineer, but it’s far from the first area of someone else’s expertise to give me a bad case of the willies.

1 Like

The United State Supreme Court has held that the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution only applies to the criminal law; it does not prohibit states or the federal government from passing non-criminal laws that have a retroactive effect. That is what the states have been doing, changing the statutes of limitations that apply in civil cases to allow these cases involving child abuse to be filed. Some states include an anti-retroactive law clause in their state constitutions, which might be argues in defense of these “historic abuse” cases.

The unfortunate thing about the entire mess is that those who actually did the wrong things are not being held accountable in the current process. Of course lawyers go after the deepest pockets they can link to the offense, regardless of who they harm or how tenuous the link. BSA is not as well protected as certain “spiritual” agencies so this is a better target for them. It doesn’t matter that the youth of today are the ones having to pony up the funds to pay off an unfortunate victim and a $500 an hour suit wearer who won’t go after the actual offender because it’s too hard. The offender and those executives who decided to continue the policy of hiding the wrongs should be the ones risking their assets, not the youth of today who need Scouting more than ever (IMHO). It seems that many of our past “Idols” of BSA have feet of clay after all. It’s truly unfortunate though. I started in the early 70’s and never heard anything to make me feel unsafe or insecure about my safety in those days. Now I hear about these files and I feel betrayed by those I revered as leaders of the Organization I still do revere.


I agree with JohnJeter I also started scouts a month after I was married in 1975 and have been in leadership roles over 6 different councils with all my work moves from California to Atlanta and Virginia, ever since, even up to area level. I now volunteer at council and district level I didn’t even know of these secret files and never saw or heard about this happening in the council’s I was in. As what JohnJeter said the real one’s that were involved in this sicking crime on a child are not the ones being charged or sued. Thus hurting the youth and the organization we have today.

1 Like

Please keep all posts in this thread in line with the Scout Oath and Law.


Once again, keep this thread on topic. Future personal attacks or violations of the Scout Oath and Law (including COURTEOUS and KIND) will causes posts to be removed.

That is pathetic. My last post was flagged…

These suits are simple in my mind. They are people suing the children of today for misbehavior of adults of yesteryear. National is funded by donations and by fees. The fees are paid by Troops (kids). The notoriety that the suits has caused has dramatically reduced donations. So what is happening is these lawsuits are suing the kids of today for what happened to them as kids.

What’s wrong with either these people, or Scouting even, suing chartering orgs? After all, chartering orgs are the ones that sponsored these adults in leadership positions for the most part.


I don’t understand how the BSA is responsible when those individuals were acting outside of all scouting laws and regulations and hiding their actions from everyone.

There are a wide variety of legal theories put forward as to exactly what the BSA did or failed to do, and why those actions or inactions make the BSA as an organization liable. Your best bet if you want to understand the claims is to take a look at what some of the cases are alleging the BSA did, as opposed to what the person(s) who is(are) alleged to have abused the youth did. The former pertains to what is claimed the BSA did wrong. The latter pertains to what is claimed one or more individuals did wrong.

1 Like

This is well stated, and I agree wholeheartedly.

I was born the year that Baden Powell died (some of you may recall who that is) and was a scout during the 50s. Baden Powell referred to Scouting as a MOVEMENT. My great hope is that all of you “newbies” who want to call us an “organization” will some day be enlightened.
Also, you can keep driving stakes into whomever you want, but, in the end, if this MOVEMENT is to continue, everyone needs to get past placing blame and help fix what’s broken. Set an example for the youth of today and be a part of the solution! What will your legacy be?


@FrankDixon, Scouting is a movement. The BSA is an organization that is part of that movement. So are the GSUSA, Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls, the B-P Service Association, Scouts Singapore, and the Scout Association in the UK. In fact, even WOSM and WAGGGS are organizations that are part of the Scouting movement.

The BSA does not own or have a monopoly over the Scouting movement.


The Scouting Movement

A limited reading list:

  • Scouting (WikipediA) - worldwide general overview
  • Scouting Heritage, Merit Badge Series, 2017 printing - mostly BSA history

I see it as yet another case where today’s standards are being applied retroactively. All youth organizations attract predators. This has been known for many years.

The thing is that when I was a kid, predators were run out of town and told to not come back. In my home town they would escort the perp to the state line, and meet an officer there to escort the person across the neighboring state. And the incident was kept quiet. That is the way things were done. I am NOT saying it was right. I am saying it was the way of society and that was the climate when BSA started tracking perps to try and keep them out.


This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.