A judge refused Saturday to admit an 8-year-old girl to her brothers' Cub Scout camp, saying issues of sex discrimination and psychological harm should be decided at a trial and not an emergency hearing.
Third-grader Margo Mankes sued to attend the five-day summer camp starting Monday, saying she was bored with Girl Scouts arts and crafts and wanted to join the boys.Dade Circuit Judge Eugene Fierro denied the motion for an injunction to force the Scouts to accept her and advised the family's attorney to file for a trial.
The decision was the second court rejection for Margo in as many days.
U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King dismissed her case Friday, saying it didn't belong in federal court. Although he didn't formally rule on the merits of the case, he said there was nothing inherently discriminatory about Boy Scout goals.
Fierro said he could not rule in an emergency hearing on the issue of whether girls should be admitted into the Boy Scouts.
Margot was a Brownie Scout for three years but said she preferred Cub Scout activities. She joined Cub Pack 350 in North Miami in January.
Margot paid a $3 membership fee, attended meetings faithfully and wore a Cub Scout uniform. But when she applied to attend the camp at North Miami Middle School, national scout leaders said she was ineligible for membership.
He cited testimony from a psychologist who said a one- or two-day delay would have a minimal affect on Margo, and noted the issue of insurance liability should be a trial consideration.
Margo's attorney, Mark Rubin, said he plans to ask Monday for an expedited hearing.
"We are not going to be thwarted in our effort. The road will not stop here," Rubin said. "We will go on . . . until the Boy Scouts yield to admit girl members."
But John Kralik IV, representing the Boy Scouts of America, said, "Based on what was presented to him (the judge) today, I think the result will be the same in trial."