Monday, May 21, 2012

AOT Commander Strain Announcement

Compatriots of the Army of Tennessee,

I would like to thank each of you for allowing me to serve you during the past year and half as the Commander for the Army of Tennessee, the largest Army in the Confederation. What makes the AoT the "Best"? That's easy, Each of You. From banks of Lake Michigan to the warm beaches of Key West and everywhere in between, we are constantly at work doing what the "Charge" tells us to do; Defending the Confederate Soldier's name, Guarding his history, and Perpetuating the principles that he loved. In fact, by following these principles has allowed us just this past year to re-activate the Os' Confederados Camp #1653 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This growth that we have had can only be credited to each member of each camp in every division. Let us keep up the good work.

I have been a member of the SCV many years now and it seems as if it was just yesterday that I decided to become more involved and become more than just a dues paying member. Looking back as they say with "hindsight being 20/20" I wish I had made that decision years sooner. I guess that's what happens when you are doing something that you love to do. I am 100% committed to our organization and I am looking forward to the many years that I have left to grow with you and more than ever to the next 4 years of the Sesquicentennial of the War.

It is with the hope of the future that I would like to offer my name so that I might serve you as "YOUR" Army of Tennessee Commander, once again. I am a Life member of the SCV and I have held offices at the camp level as Adjutant, 2nd Lt. Commander, 1st Lt. Commander and Commander which during my time the Hobbs Camp won both National Camp of the year and Historical project of the year awards. On the Division level as NE Brigade Commander, Alabama Division 1st Lt Commander, Alabama Division Commander, at the National level as Deputy Chief of Staff, Army of Tennessee Councilman and as Army Commander the past year and a half. It was also my great honor to have been awarded the General Robert E. Lee Gold Medal at this past convention in Montgomery. I was truly humbled by this award.

In serving you on the GEC, I have looked only to what is best for the Army of Tennessee and the SCV as a whole. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to come to your Division reunions and other events held by the camps each year from Memorial services to Lee/Jackson Banquets. I have always attempted to assist you in whatever problems you have ran into and always been honest with each of you when asked what I thought. I will continue to work for "YOU" if I am honored to get re-elected to the honorable position as Army of Tennessee Commander. I must admit that there have been many times when I have wondered what in the world have I gotten myself into, but the things that test us the most only make us a better person and leader.

As we head into the next 4 years of our Sesquicentennial, the SCV has entered into the surge for our newest goal with the formation of the project "Vision 2016". We need your help in making this project's goals come to life. With the view into the future of 50,000 members by the year 2016, we must all be out on the battlefront making sure that the truth about our ancestors is being told and bringing in every new member that we can. In return we must be prepared for an assault like we have never seen before. Our organization will be made out to be the most evil and radical of associations on the face of the earth. I personally saw this first hand during the planning and during the Montgomery event this past February and we must be prepared for whatever our opponents can throw at us. We must stand up to them as our ancestors stood up to the Federal Government and say "Enough is Enough" and must be prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves and our history.

If we as members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will do as our ancestors taught us, Love and Honor thy God, Love and Protect our Families and Respect our fellow man. Quoting Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, "You may be whatever you resolve to be", and this is the men that we have resolved to be. I thank each of you for your love and support over the years and I cherish your friendship and support in the years to come.

I hope to see each of you at the 2012 Reunion in Murfreesboro, TN and I look forward to your support as I run for a second term as "YOUR" AoT Commander.

In Service to the AoT and the South, I remain,

Thos. "Tom" V. Strain Jr.
Army of Tennessee
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Announcement from Lt. CIC Barrow


It has been a busy twenty-two months since our 2010 National Reunion in Anderson, South Carolina where you honored me by electing me as Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief of our beloved Sons of Confederate Veterans. As we have moved further into the Sesquicentennial of the war so bravely fought by our ancestors, we also have been faced by increased assaults on our Southern heritage around the country, distortions of our history and outright lies about our ancestors.It has been my honor to be on the front lines of many of these struggles and to help plot our course for the future.

Constitutionally, my duties are to be responsible for recruiting and retention of our membership. This is a duty that I have taken very seriously and have worked diligently to address that charge. We have conducted an electronic and print media-recruiting program that, in the words of Executive Director Ben Sewell, “has been the most successful in our history” and left our Headquarters “swamped” with responses from those seeking information on the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Also, at my direction, we have recently mailed letters from our National Headquarters to every member that did not renew their memberships this year, not only to attempt to recover them as members but to ask their feedback about why they did not renew so that those reasons might be addressed in the future.

To assist all of our Camps and individual members with recruiting, I have also negotiated discounted memberships to both and Fold3 that have the added benefit of returning a percentage of that cost directly to the SCV.

Also, because of the direct relationship with recruiting and retention, I have initiated a leadership training and development program that is unprecedented in the SCV. To date we have held National Leadership Workshops in Chickamauga, Georgia, Burlington, North Carolina and Monroe, Louisiana featuring a variety of lectures from nationally recognized SCV leaders. Nearly 200 of our members have attended these conferences and several have found them of such benefit that they have attended all three. If I am favored with re-election we have already initiated planning for next year’s schedule; Colorado Springs, Colorado in August, Richmond, Virginia in November and Foley, Alabama in March.

Consideration of any candidate for any office should begin with that candidate’s record of service and VISION for the future. Much has been accomplished but much remains to be done and especially with the challenge of VISION 2016 to raise our membership to 50,000 by that date, the role of the Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief is of even more importance. Serving as you Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief is a great HONOR but it is not an HONORARY position. It requires boundless energy and hard work. It is for that reason after receiving the blessings from my wife, Cassie, my daughter, Georgianah and my son, William that I humbly ask your support for re-election to my post, that I may continue to work for the benefit of our organization in the challenging years to come. Please visit or call me if you have any questions

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Lieutenant Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Thursday, May 17, 2012


SCV National Leadership Workshop

As we move through the challenging years of the Sesquicentennial, leadership training has become even more important to the defense of our Southern heritage. In an effort to insure that our members better understand the challenges of leadership roles and to aid our leaders in acquiring the knowledge to better perform their duties, the SCV has scheduled a Summer National Leadership Workshop.

This year’s event will be held August 25, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Express, 1855 Aeroplaza Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. It will be hosted by the Colorado Division. A tentative schedule for the day is posted below along with registration and lodging information.

Please note that this event will include relevant presentations and individual workshops for more specialized training for Commanders and Adjutants; however, ALL members are invited to attend!

8:00 – 8:15 Welcome & SCV Protocol Div. Cmdr. Patrick Gerity
8:15 – 8:30 Introductions & Overview Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow
8:30 – 9:15 Commanders & Command CIC R. Michael Givens
9:15 – 9:30 BREAK
9:30 – 10:15 Adjutants & Administration AIC
10:15 – 10:30 BREAK
10:30 – 11:15 Recruiting & Retention Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow
11:15 – 12:30 DINNER
12:45 – 1:30 Heritage Defense Chief of Heritage Defense
1:30 – 1:45 BREAK
1:45 – 2:30 Commander’s & Adjutant’s Workshops CIC, Lt. CIC & AIC
2:30 – 2:45 Concluding Remarks & Discussion Lt. CIC Charles Kelly Barrow

Registration is only $10 per person and will be handled through General Headquarters at Elm Springs. You may mail a reservation with a check or call 1 (800) 380-1896 ext 209 (Cindy) or email with credit card information (MC, VISA or AMEX)

Holiday Inn Express 1855 Aeroplaza Drive Colorado Springs,
Colorado 80916 (719) 380-8516
SCV Workshop rate: King or DQB $99
Free shuttle to/from airport 5am-11pm

Super 8 Motel 1790 Aeroplaza Drive
Colorado Springs,
Colorado 80916
719) 570-0505
$69.99 + tax

America's Best Value Inn
1780 Aeroplaza Drive
Colorado Springs,
Colorado 80916
(719) 574-7707
$49.99 + tax

Registration Sheet

Name________________________ Address____________________________________________

_____________________________ Email _______________________________________

Camp number_________________ Check enclosed ( ) or

Credit Card (MC, VISA, or AMEX) Number __________________________ Expires _________

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Proposed Constitutional and Standing Order Amendments


  Below are the addresses for the proposed Constitutional and Standing Order Amendments to be consdered at the Murfreesboro Reunion.  They can also be found on the scroll on the home page of

Chuck Rand

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Texas Camps Provide School Programs

Civil War re-enactors give living history exhibit at Fort Inglish
By Allen Rich
May 4, 2012

Some area school children got a jump in Heritage Day in Bonham by witnessing a living history exhibit Friday at Fort Inglish.

Several Civil War era re-enactors led discussions and gave shooting demonstrations.

On Saturday, Sons of Confederate Veterans re-enactors are scheduled to give demonstrations in historic downtown Bonham at 8:45 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and again at 12:15 p.m.

Sons of Confederate Captain Bob Lee Camp 2198 will be performing a living history at Fort Inglish during Heritage Day Celebration May 5.

Buggy rides will be available from downtown to Fort Inglish.

CSS Georgia to be Salvaged

Civil War shipwreck in the way of Georgia port project - CSS Georgia was scuttled in Civil War
Russ Bynum
Associated Press
Saturday, May 5, 2012

GA. — Before government engineers can deepen one of the nation’s busiest seaports to accommodate future trade, they first need to remove a $14 million obstacle from the past – a Confederate warship rotting on the Savannah River bottom for nearly 150 years.

The CSS Georgia, a Confederate ironclad warship that sank in the Savannah River nearly 148 years ago in Savannah, will cost $14 million to raise and preserve.

Confederate troops scuttled the ironclad CSS Georgia to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. It’s been on the river bottom ever since.

Now, the Civil War shipwreck sits in the way of a government agency’s $653 million plan to deepen the waterway that links the nation’s fourth-busiest container port to the Atlantic Ocean. The ship’s remains are considered so historically significant that dredging the river is prohibited within 50 feet of the wreckage.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to raise and preserve what’s left. The agency’s final report on the project last month estimated the cost to taxpayers at $14 million. The work could start next year on what’s sure to be a painstaking effort.

Leaving the shipwreck in place is not an option: Officials say the harbor must be deepened to accommodate supersize cargo ships coming through an expanded Panama Canal in 2014 – ships that will bring valuable revenue to the state and would otherwise go to other ports.

Underwater surveys show that two large chunks of the ship’s iron-armored siding have survived, the largest being 68 feet long and 24 feet tall. Raising them intact will be a priority. Researchers also spotted three cannons on the riverbed, an intact propeller and other pieces of the warship’s steam engines.

“We don’t really have an idea of what’s in the debris field,” said Julie Morgan, a government archaeologist for the Army Corps. “There could be some personal items. People left the ship in a big hurry. Who’s to say what was on board when the Georgia went down.”

Also likely to slow the job: finding and gently removing cannonballs and other projectiles that, according to corps experts, could still potentially detonate.

That’s a massive effort for a warship that went down in Civil War history as an ironclad flop.

The Civil War ushered in the era of armored warships. In Savannah, a Ladies Gunboat Association raised $115,000 to build such a ship to protect the city. The 120-foot-long CSS Georgia had armor forged from railroad iron, but its engines proved too weak to propel the ship’s 1,200-ton frame against river currents. The ship was anchored on the riverside at Fort Jackson as a floating gun battery.

The Georgia was scuttled by her crew without having ever fired a shot in combat.

“I would say it was an utter failure,” said Ken Johnston, the executive director of the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Ga., who says the shipwreck nonetheless has great historical value. “It has very clearly become a symbol for why things went wrong for the Confederate naval effort.”

As a homespun war machine assembled by workers who likely had never built a ship before, the Georgia represents the South’s lack of an industrial base, Johnston said. The North, by contrast, was teeming with factories and laborers skilled at shipbuilding. They churned out a superior naval fleet that enabled the Union to cut off waterways used to supply Confederate forces.

A footnote to history: The shipwreck legally belongs to the Navy. More than 150 years after the war began, the Georgia is still classified as a captured enemy vessel.

Despite its functional failures, the shipwreck’s historical significance was cemented in 1987 when it won a place on the National Register of Historic Places, the official listing of treasured sites and buildings from America’s past. That gave the Georgia a measure of protection – dredging near the shipwreck was prohibited.

Still, a great deal of damage had already been done. The last detailed survey of the ship in 2003 found it in pieces and its hull apparently disintegrated. Erosion had taken a large toll, and telltale marks showed dredging machinery had already chewed into the wreckage.

Salvaging the remains will likely move slowly.

Divers will need to divide the site into a grid to search for artifacts and record the locations of what they find. The large sections or armored siding will likely need to be cradled gently by a web of metal beams to raise them to the surface intact, said Gordon Watts, an underwater archaeologist who helped lead the 2003 survey of the shipwreck.

The Army Corps’ report also notes special care will be needed find and dispose of any cannonballs and other explosive projectiles remaining on the riverbed.

“If there is black powder that’s 150 years old, and if it is dry, then the stability of it has deteriorated,” Watts said. “You’d want to be as careful as humanly possible in recovering the stuff.”

Once the remains of the Georgia are removed from the river and preserved by experts, the Army Corps will have to decide who gets the spoils. Morgan said ultimately the plan is to put the warship’s artifacts on public display. But which museum or agency will get custody of them has yet to be determined.

TX Division Seeks to Place Marker on Capitol Grounds

State Agencies Texas Historical Commission Fight for Historical Marker Sparks Race Concerns

by Brandi Grissom
May 9, 2012 22

Reigniting a racially charged debate many thought had flamed out, the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans association is working to install another historical marker on the Texas Capitol campus recognizing the Confederacy.

“It’s nothing, frankly, that anybody needs to get their knickers in a twist about,” said Kirk Lyons, the group’s colorful lawyer.

The organization argues that it is simply trying to highlight an interesting and important tale about how the Texas Supreme Court building came to exist through the use of Confederate veterans’ pension funds. Critics, including 12 lawmakers who fired off a letter Tuesday opposing the marker, say the group is making another attempt to glorify Confederate soldiers and revise the group's history of racism and slavery.

“Confederate apologists have spent almost 150 years trying to change the Civil War into something that it was not,” the lawmakers, including state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, wrote in a letter to the Texas Historical Commission. “Here's what it was: an insurrection against the United States government with the main goal of maintaining the institution of African slavery.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans received preliminary approval in January to install a historical marker at the Texas Supreme Court building that commemorates the use of Confederate pension funds to erect the structure. This week, though, the Texas Historical Commission informed the group that state law prohibits the installation of new markers on the Capitol grounds.

“We need to get that up,” said the group's highest-profile Texas member, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, of the marker. “It’s a historical monument, and it tells a story.”

With an official state holiday, an effort under way to secure an official license plate and at least three large monuments honoring the Confederacy already on the Capitol grounds, Ellis said, the losing side of the Civil War has gotten its due.

“This is getting ridiculous,” Ellis said. “There are more than enough tokens celebrating the Confederacy.”

The leader of the Texas NAACP said existing plaques at the Texas Supreme Court building already note the role of the Confederate pension fund in its construction.

“There is not much more to say about this, and hopefully no efforts will be made to glorify the Confederacy,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the NAACP of Texas.

The latest effort comes after a 2010 court ruling in a decade-long legal battle between the state and the Sons of Confederate Veterans over plaques at the Supreme Court building. The back-and-forth over the Confederacy’s recognition has gone on even longer, and the lawsuit isn’t officially over. Lyons said installing the historical marker might finally end the fight.

“It is a byproduct, but a very peaceful byproduct, of the ongoing struggle,” Lyons said.

The group, he said, has not been informed that its application for the marker was denied. And he disputed the Historical Commission’s interpretation of the law regarding placement of monument on the Capitol grounds.

Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1954 that allowed money from the Confederate veterans pension fund to be used for new buildings. At the time, the number of living Confederate veterans had dwindled, and the funds were sitting idle. Meanwhile, the state bureaucracy was growing, and the Capitol building wasn’t big enough to house all the new agencies.

The Supreme Court structure was built in 1957, and in its cornerstone are copies of the constitutional amendment and the law that designated the building as a memorial to Texas Confederate veterans. Two plaques were installed in the mid-1960s. One noted the building’s dedication to the veterans. The other bore a quote from Gen. Robert E. Lee: “I rely on Texas regiments in all tight places, and I fear I have to call on them too often. They have fought grandly, nobly.”

Nearly two decades later, voters repealed the constitutional provision relating to the Confederate pension funds, and in 1979 the Legislature repealed the law dedicating the building to the veterans.

The plaques were quietly replaced in 2000 amid then-Gov. George W. Bush’s run for the White House and a national controversy over Southern displays of Confederate symbols. The new plaques are less overt in their praise. One simply says that Texas courts should provide equal justice to all “regardless of race, creed, or color.” The other reads: “Because this building was built with monies from the Confederate Pension fund it was, at that time, designated as a memorial to the Texans who served the Confederacy.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans sued the state over the replacement of the plaques, arguing that the move violated the Texas Constitution and that it broke open-meetings laws and the government code.

Granvel Block, commander of the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the existing plaques are apologetic and don’t fully explain the story of how the building came to be.

“The plaques that are there now are not something that acknowledges our ancestors,” Block said.

In 2010, the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the new plaques did not violate any laws, but that the government code was not followed in the procedures to install the plaques. The court ordered the state to pay lawyers’ fees in the case.

In a letter to Terry Keel, executive director of the Texas Facilities Commission, seeking permission to install the new marker, Lyons hinted that the marker could put an end to the litigation.

“It is hoped that this Marker may clarify any confusion and help to diffuse any remaining anger or frustration over the dedication,” he wrote.

Fueling the controversy over the marker, though, is Lyons' own background. He is chief trial counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit law firm whose mission is “a return to social and constitutional sanity for all Americans and especially for America’s most persecuted minority: Confederate Southern Americans.”

He has a history of representing defendants accused of racially motivated crimes and has been labeled a “white supremacist lawyer” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization. In 1990, Lyons married the sister of a convicted member of the Aryan Nation, David Tate, at a wedding ceremony at an Aryan Nation compound.

Lyons, however, vehemently denies that label and said he only represented men he believed were innocent. And he said he “made poor PR choices,” but that he “got the most wonderful wife in the world out of it.”

“I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever described myself” as a white supremacist, said Lyons, who is also a member of the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans, adding that the group shouldn’t be judged based on negative — and, he contends, false — perceptions about his background. “There’s nothing sinister about what they’re doing. It’s a good thing.”

Lyons said the goal of the historical marker is simple: to explain how the court building was funded.

“The state of Texas owes an inordinate, immense debt to men who came back from the war,” Lyons said. “The C-word is going to be there. I’m sorry. People just need to deal with history.”

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Proposed Amendments to the Standing Orders


   The following letter was mailed to each Camp Commander in the Confederation regarding proposed Amendments to the Standing Orders of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Please review and share with your Camp members.

  You can also find a link to the credentials forms for the Reunion at the following link.

May 10, 2012

Dear Compatriot,

The annual Reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will soon be upon us, and I and the other members of the General Executive Council hope we will see you and members of your Camp there. This year we are meeting in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, July 11-14 and it promises to be a memorable Reunion.

Attached you will find two proposed amendments for the Standing Orders of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. These are being provided to your Camp per the requirements of Article 16 of the Constitution of the Sons of Confederate Veterans which requires that any proposed amendments to the Constitution or the Standing Orders be “sent to each Camp in good standing at least thirty (30) days and not more than ninety (90) days in advance to the address on record at General Headquarters”. Please share these amendments when the camp next meets so your camp can be prepared to vote on these amendments at Murfreesboro.

These proposed amendments to the Standing Orders, and the previously published amendments for the Constitution, can also be found on the scroll on the front page of, on the SCV Blog and have also been distributed via the Telegraph.

Deo Vindice!

Charles Rand
Adjutant In Chief



This amendment would add a section to Article 3 of the Standing Orders. This amendment is proposed by the General Executive Council. The new proposed section is:

3.6: Each Camp of the Confederation shall establish and maintain an official Camp email address with the General Headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This email address may be used by General Headquarters, if directed by the General Executive Council, for sending the Camps official correspondence and notices.

Reasoning: If each Camp has an email address it will enable the Sons of Confederate Veterans to more easily communicate information to the Camps in a timely matter. While we currently have electronic distribution of information on the Telegraph, only a limited number of members (approximately 25%) are subscribed to this service. This amendment will allow for official distribution of required notices directly to the Camps by use of their unique email address. It is intended that email distribution of notices to the Camps will be purposefully limited to items such as official notices and information and important Heritage Defense information so as to keep the number of notices distributed to a low level. Given the advances in technology and communication it is imperative the Sons of Confederate Veterans adopt modern methods of communication in order to be effective in fulfilling our mission in the 21st Century.


This amendment will replace the existing language of section 9.5 in its entirety with new language. This amendment is proposed by the National Disciplinary Committee.

The following is the existing language of section 9.5 of the Standing Orders:

9.5 No legal action against or on behalf of the general organization Sons of Confederate Veterans, its officers and/or members shall be undertaken or entered into by any member or group of members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in which that member or group of members proposes to act as (a) representative(s) or agent(s) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans without prior approval of the General Executive Council. If a proposed legal action is presented to the General Executive Council for approval, the petition shall be distributed in writing to all members of the Council prior to the filing of the same. The petition shall state the name(s) and address(es) of the party (parties) against whom the petition is proposed to be filed. The affirmative vote of the members of the Council shall be necessary for Council approval of such legal action. If any legal action is filed without the approval of the Council, the member(s) filing such action shall be subject to expulsion from the Sons of Confederate Veterans in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders which relate to expulsion of members.

Below is the proposed language which would replace the existing section 9.5 in its entirety:

9.5 No member, group of members, camp, division or any other subdivision of the Sons of Confederate Veterans may initiate any civil litigation wherein they act, or attempt to act, with standing and name (directly or indirectly) any member (in their capacity as member or officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans), any subdivision or the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a whole as defendant or plaintiff without the prior express consent of the General Executive Council (GEC). The same shall apply to naming any member (in his capacity as a member of officer of the Sons of Confederate Veterans), subdivision or the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a whole as a third party in an already initiated civil litigation.

Petition for said approval shall be distributed in writing to all members of the GEC, stating the name(s) and address(es) of all parties in the proposed litigation, and a brief description of the nature and necessity of the proposed litigation. All reasonable administrative remedies (petitions, motions, hearings etc. before camp/division executive councils, division conventions, etc.) available shall be attempted by petitioner(s) prior to submitting such petition to the GEC, or the GEC may refuse consideration of the petition. A majority vote of the GEC shall be required for approval of the petition.

The GEC shall not delay consideration (other than for failure to attempt all available administrative remedies) on the petition to the point it would jeopardize the proposed litigation (such as past filing deadlines), and no later than the next regular meeting of the GEC. Failure to abide by this section is a serious offense and subject to discipline, including expulsion, in accordance with the Constitution and Standing Orders.

Reasoning: This section of the Standing Orders results in more disciplinary cases (and more acrimonious ones) than any other section. Because of its nature (a prohibition on civil lawsuits) this section is subject to more technical attacks and arguments by those accused of violating it, and misunderstandings by many members beyond those accused, than any other section. As a result, the Disciplinary Committee has attempted to both strengthen and clarify the language.

For example, accused members have attempted to claim the “general” organization is only the national organization, and that their suit wasn’t “against or on behalf” of the organization because they were suing a single officer. This invokes the legal concept (theory) of “standing” without using the word, so the language here has been changed to reflect in more precise legal language what exactly is being prohibited.

Further, in the old language “no legal action” could be interpreted broadly. For example if a camp filing a police report when something is stolen considered a “legal action”, or is someone who is arrested for displaying a Battle Flag at a convention hotel and offers a legal defense in the case taking “legal action”? So again, the more precise “initiate any civil litigation” is used in the proposed wording.

The proposed language also emphasizes the common legal requirement of “exhausting administrative remedies”. This means that a member or group of members do not go straight from a disagreement to a lawsuit, but they must attempt all other remedies, such as making a motion at their division convention. Courts routinely dismiss cases which have not attempted all administrative remedies.

Finally, language preventing the GEC from withholding consideration on a petition is added as a safeguard. Finding language which contemplates all possible circumstances which might invoke section 9.5 is difficult, but the Disciplinary Committee feels these revisions help in many circumstances.

Officers and members need to keep in mind that both the existing and proposed language is broad, and would include lawsuits initiated by camps or divisions in circumstances such as suits over car tags, etc. If a camp or division is going to initiate a suit, the procedures in 9.5 must be observed.