Signs of the Times: The Dale Opinion

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter examines the reasoning in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. It argues that the Supreme Court's opinion in the case offers a useful cautionary lesson in First Amendment jurisprudence: determinations of what is protected speech cannot defer either to individual speakers or to the culture as a whole, because such deference produces bizarre results.


Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, First Amendment jurisprudence, Supreme Court, protected speech

Publication Title

A Right to Discriminate? How the Case of Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association