Linda R. S. v. Richard D.
410 U.S. 614 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Linda R. S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614 (1973)

Linda R. S. v. Richard D.

No. 71-6078

Argued December 6, 1972

Decided March 5, 1973

410 U.S. 614


Appellant, the mother of an illegitimate child, brought a class action to enjoin the "discriminatory application" of Art. 602 of the Texas Penal Code providing that any "parent" who fails to support his "children" is subject to prosecution, but which, by state judicial construction, applies only to married parents. Appellant sought to enjoin the local district attorney from refraining to prosecute the father of her child. The three-judge District Court dismissed appellant's action for want of standing:

Held: Although appellant has an interest in her child's support, application of Art. 602 would not result in support, but only in the father's incarceration, and a private citizen lacks a judicially cognizable interest in the prosecution or nonprosecution of another. Pp. 410 U. S. 616-619.

335 F.Supp. 80, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS, J., joined, post, p. 410 U. S. 619. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN, J., joined, post, p. 410 U. S. 622.

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