Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Argued November 4, 1981
Decided January 12, 1982
Full case name Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Citations 454 U.S. 464 (more)
619 F.2d 252 (reversed)
Holding
The Court decided that the taxpayers did not meet the requirements of the first prong of the double nexus test put forth in Flast as they did argue a violation of Art. 1 Sec. 8 (taxing and spending) occurred.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Rehnquist, joined by Burger, White, Powell, and O'Connor
Dissent Brennan, joined by Marshall and Blackmun
Dissent Stevens
Laws applied
U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, Art. III;

Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 454 U.S. 464 (1982), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in which the court refused to expand the Flast v. Cohen exception to the taxpayer standing rule. Plaintiffs lacked standing because the claim was based on taxpayers and citizens, injury of mishandling of government funds too remote, everyone qualifies as citizens. Dept. of Health and Education and Welfare conveyed free of charge a surplus military building to a religious college devoted to training students. DOH concluded that transfer would produce 100% public benefit (the program was designed for pricing contingent upon a reduction for public benefit, so it was given to them for free. Scotus says this isn’t a college debate forum.) The court basically says it is not the forum for public grievances or a vehicle for vindication of the value interests of concerned bystanders. They remind readers that judicial restraint is way too strong to turn the Supreme Court into a political forum, because it affect co-relations with branches of National Government. They call judicial restraint a tool of last resort, and draw attention to the importance of Justices exercising prudential principles within the branch of government that has binding and unchangeable authority (the Supreme Court.) This restraint assures continued stability between branches and respect for the bench. They contend that general grievances and abstract questions of wide public significance should be handled by the Legislature (the representative branch.)

References

American Constitutional Law: Powers and Liberties. Massey

See also

External links

  • Text of Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 454 U.S. 464 (1982) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia  Cornell LII