The Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday appeared closer to winning its long legal battle to keep gays out of its ranks.

In oral arguments in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, several justices appeared concerned that the New Jersey Supreme Court had exerted too much control over the message and membership of a private organization last year when it ordered the Scouts to reinstate James Dale as a Scoutmaster. The Scouts expelled Dale in 1990 after a newspaper depicted him as a leader of a gay rights group at Rutgers University.

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