On Supreme Court shelves lined with the red-, blue-, white- and gray-jacketed briefs identifying the various players in each case, the green amicus briefs usually stand out like toy soldiers in a little boy’s bedroom. But in the spot for this term’s case over gays in the Boy Scouts, the telltale green bindings represent a virtual battalion.

The final argument of the term, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, No. 99-699, to be heard by the justices on April 26, presents a straightforward question: Were the First Amendment rights of speech and association of the Boy Scouts of America violated when the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a state civil rights law required it to reinstate an avowedly homosexual assistant scoutmaster, James Dale?

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