Thursday, June 13, 2013

Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Challenge Arizona Day of Prayer Proclamations

In Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Brewer, (AZ App., June 11, 2013), an Arizona state Court of Appeals held that a group of Maricopa County residents and a organization promoting church-state separation lack standing to to challenge Governor Janice Brewer's Day of Prayer proclamations. Plaintiffs alleged that the proclamations violated Article 2, Section 12  (Religion Clause) and Article 20, Par. 1 (perfect toleration of religion clause) of the Arizona Constitution.  The court, finding no distinct harm to plaintiffs, said:
Appellants have offered no explanation why their feeling of offense is any greater than that of a large segment of the general public nor how such purported psychological harm amounted to a discrete and palpable injury. Accordingly, we conclude they lack standing to bring their complaint. 
The court also found that plaintiffs had not alleged taxpayer standing, and that the standing requirements should not be waived. AP reports on the decision. (See prior related posting.)