RESPONDENT: Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Organization
LOCATION: Vermillion Police Station
DOCKET NO.: 74-1124
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
CITATION: 426 US 26 (1976)
ARGUED: Dec 10, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 01, 1976
Marin G. Rose - for Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Organization and others
Marilyn G. Rose -
Stuart A. Smith - for William E
Facts of the case
Media for Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights OrganizationAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1975 in Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Organization
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 01, 1976 in Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Organization
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in 75-1124 and 74-1110, Simon, the Secretary of Treasury against the Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Organizations and the related case will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:
These cases are here on certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The plaintiffs are indigents and their organizations.
They brought this class action against the Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue.
They attack the validity of the IRS revenue ruling that extends favorable tax treatment to non profit hospitals that generally serve the community.
Ruling entitles donors to take tax deductions on gifts to these hospitals.
The ruling applies, even though indigents are not served.
The Court of Appeals sustained the validity of the tax ruling, but we do not reach the merits and we conclude that the plaintiffs did not allege a case or controversy under Article III of the Constitution.
Although they do allege denial of hospital services, because of their indigency they failed to name any hospital as a defendant, the only defendants are treasury officials.
Nor does it complaint aver that the hospitals that denied the service were dependent upon tax deductible contributions.
Thus it is wholly speculative, so far as the complaint shows, whether the tax rulings bears any relation to denial of the service.
We conclude, therefore, that respondents failed to establish their standing to bring this suit.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is, therefore, vacated and the case remanded.
Mr. Justice Stewart filed a concurrent opinion.
Mr. Justice Brennan filed a dissenting opinion, concurring in the judgment in which Mr. Justice Marshall joins.
Mr. Justice Stevens took no part in the consideration of decisions of the case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.