Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc.
In Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed on standing grounds a challenge under the Establishment Clause to the conveyance of federally-owned land in Pennsylvania to Valley Forge Christian College.
The Court held:
- Although respondents claim that the Constitution has been violated, they claim nothing else. They fail to identify any personal injury suffered by them as a consequence of the alleged constitutional err or, other than the psychological consequence presumably produced by observation of conduct with which one disagrees. That is not an injury sufficient to confer standing under Art. III, even though the disagreement is phrased in constitutional terms.
The Court added:
- We simply cannot see that respondents have alleged an injury of any kind, economic or otherwise, sufficient to confer standing. Respondents complain of a transfer of property located in Chester County, Pa. The named plaintiffs reside in Maryland and Virginia; their organizational headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. They learned of the transfer through a news release. Their claim that the Government has violated the Establishment Clause does not provide a special license to roam the country in search of governmental wrongdoing and to reveal their discoveries in federal court. The federal courts were simply not constituted as ombudsmen of the general welfare.