Warth v. Seldin

LOCATION: US Servicemen's Fund

DOCKET NO.: 73-2024
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 422 US 490 (1975)
ARGUED: Mar 17, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 25, 1975

Emmelyn Logan-Baldwin -
Emmelyn Logan-Baldwin - for petitioners
James M. Hartman - for respondents
James H. Hartman -

Facts of the case


Media for Warth v. Seldin

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 17, 1975 in Warth v. Seldin

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 25, 1975 in Warth v. Seldin

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 73-2024, Warth against Seldin will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This case is here on certiorari from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

It involves an attack on the zoning laws and practices of Penfield, New York, a town adjacent to Rochester.

Petitioners alleged the construction of low and moderate cost housing suitable for persons of low and moderate income has been prevented by the zoning practice of Penfield.

The District Court dismissed the complaint and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

We agree with these Courts.

For reasons stated in our opinion filed today, we conclude that none of the petitioners has alleged facts sufficient to satisfy the threshold requirement of standing to sue in the federal courts.

Certain of them, in particular the low-income minority group plaintiffs, have not shown that they personally have been injured by the challenged zoning practices.

Other petitioners based their claim to relief on the legal rights of third parties.

As no statute grants them a right of action, we find no justification for departing from the rule that normally precludes litigants from asserting the legal rights of others as basis of their claim to relief.

Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is affirmed.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion Mr. Justice Brennan also has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice White and Mr. Justice Marshall have joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Powell.