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Several states have passed laws suspending the statute of limitations for crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors; they provide for a look-back period, usually 1-3 years, where offenses that previously were time barred can be filed. In those states that have not passed such laws, attorneys for Boy Scout victims filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court in Washington, D.C. seeking to establish the nation’s capital as a legitimate venue for such suits.

The lawyers are taking a novel approach: the Boy Scouts of America were incorporated in D.C. in 1910, and six years later it received a congressional charter there. Ergo, D.C. should qualify as a proper venue to hear a national case against the Boy Scouts. Will it work? No one knows.

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