Federal Court Finds Lack of Standing against Holiday Display

As noted at the Religion Clause, a Federal District Court in Arizona found that a plaintiff did not have standing to sue over Flagstaff’s annual “Grand Menorah Lighting” held at the City Hall. It turns out the plaintiff, Jack Taylor, only even knew about it because he’d read about it in the paper. As quoted at the Religion Clause [emphasis added],

Plaintiff did not allege that he has had direct contact with the Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall, or any other religious ceremony purportedly held in City Hall. According to the Complaint, Plaintiff’s contact with the Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall has, at most, been via newspaper articles reporting the “Flagstaff Hanukkah tradition.”…

While Plaintiff alleges that he has been “quite concerned” and “very disturbed” by the Grand Menorah Lighting at City Hall, … —without more, the injury asserted by Plaintiff is too generalized and remote to confer standing

While that may seem to be a “win” against the use of the judicial branch to try to squash public religious exercise, such a ruling only indicates Taylor is an amateur. Any “experienced” litigator would have made sure Taylor walked by the display a couple of times or had to have “direct contact” with it in the course of visiting City Hall. Even the court’s own ruling implies “direct contact” is all that is required to establish the “injury” necessary to confer standing.

Just like the issue with the Manchester VA, that’s the problem: Any person with a slight offense can file a lawsuit, and they’re granted standing because of that offense, not because they’ve been “injured” and require relief.

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