Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Challenge To Governor's Day of Prayer Proclamation Dismissed On Standing Grounds

In Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Brewer, (D AZ, Dec. 12, 2011), an Arizona federal district court dismissed an Establishment Clause challenge to the Arizona governor's proclaiming a "Day of Prayer."  The court held that plaintiffs lacked standing because they were not injured by the governor's proclamation, saying:
Plaintiffs provide affidavits to establish they turned off the television and altered conversational habits to avoid the topic of religion or the day of prayer....  Plaintiffs, however, do not explain why their alleged injury is different than injuries in other Establishment Clause cases in which the plaintiffs did not have standing, such as the President’s day of prayer proclamation. Essentially, Plaintiffs seek a ruling obliquely holding that injury sufficient to confer standing exists under the Establishment Clause where government action is covered in the news or the subject of a social conversation. The Court declines to depart from Establishment Clause case law on this ground. Plaintiffs have not shown injury beyond “stigmatic injury” or feeling like an “outsider.”
The East Valley Tribune reports on the decision.