Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737 (1984)
Parents of black children attending public schools in districts undergoing desegregation brought nationwide class action alleging that Internal Revenue Service had not adopted sufficient standards and procedures to fulfill its obligation to deny tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory private schools. Alleged (1) that they were, as blacks, stigmatized by the granting of tax exemptions to racially discriminatory schools, (2) the denial of their rights to have their children attend a desegregated private schools, the IRS made the task of desegregating the public schools more difficult.
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia, George L. Hart, Jr., J., dismissed on standing grounds. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, reversed and remanded. Certiorari was granted.
Whether petitioners have standing.
Respondents do not have standing to bring this suit
The Supreme Court, Justice O'Connor, held that: (1) parents did not have standing to prevent the government from violating the law in granting tax exemptions; (2) absent allegation of direct injury, standing could not be predicated on claim of stigmatization caused by racial discrimination; and (3) claim of injury to their children's diminished ability to receive an education in a racially integrated school, although a judicially cognizable injury, failed because the alleged injury was not fairly traceable to the government's conduct that was challenged as unlawful.