Friday, February 1, 2013

Allen v. Wright case brief

Allen v. Wright case summary
468 U.S. 737

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Petitioner private schools obtained a writ of certiorari to review a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit, which held that respondents, parents of black public school students in districts undergoing desegregation, had standing to challenge the procedures of the Internal Revenue Service (INS) regarding the granting of tax-exempt status to private schools under Rev. Proc. 75-50, 1975-2 C.B. 587.

OVERVIEW:
-Respondents challenged the IRS guidelines and procedures with respect to granting tax-exempt status to private schools under Rev. Proc. 75-50, 1975-2 C.B. 587.
-Respondents alleged that the IRS violated their rights by granting tax-exempt status to discriminatory private schools. The district court dismissed the action for lack of standing.
-The court of appeals reversed, holding that respondents had standing and enjoined the IRS from granting tax-exempt status to any racially discriminatory schools. Petitioners sought review.
-The Court granted certiorari, and reversed the court of appeals' ruling and vacated the injunction.

HOLDING:
-The first basis for standing alleged by respondents, that they were harmed directly by the mere fact of government financial aid to discriminatory private schools, did not constitute a judicially cognizable injury and second basis, that their children were being deprived of an opportunity to receive an education in racially integrated schools, although a judicially cognizable injury, was not fairly traceable to the government conduct that respondents challenged as unlawful.

OUTCOME: The court of appeals' ruling was reversed and an injunction enjoining the IRS from granting tax-exempt status to discriminatory private schools, was vacated. Respondents did not have standing to sue as their first basis for standing failed because it did not constitute a judicially cognizable injury and their second basis failed as the alleged injury was not fairly traceable to government conduct that respondents challenged as unlawful.
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