Plaintiff-appellant Thomas Sullivan appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (McAvoy, J.) dismissing, for lack of standing, Sullivan's claim that defendant-appellee Syracuse Housing Authority ("SHA") violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and rendering summary judgment in favor of the SHA on Sullivan's Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection claim. The SHA is a public housing authority organized under and pursuant to the laws of the City of Syracuse, the State of New York, and the federal government. Since 1985, Sullivan and his family have been residents of the Benderson Heights Family Housing Complex ("Benderson Heights"), a public housing development in Syracuse owned and operated by the SHA.
Sullivan does not dispute in this appeal the propriety of summary judgment for the SHA on his Equal Protection claim. Sullivan does, however, contend that he has standing to assert, and was entitled to summary judgment on, the Establishment Clause claim. Sullivan, a Native American who is not a Christian, contends that the SHA unconstitutionally supported Christianity at the Benderson Heights community center. For the reasons that follow, we hold that Sullivan has standing to maintain the Establishment Clause claim, but decline to address whether Sullivan was entitled to summary judgment on that claim. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is reversed to the extent that it dismissed Sullivan's Establishment Clause claim for lack of standing, and the case is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Miner '56, Roger J., "Sullivan v. Syracuse Housing Authority, 962 F. 2d 1101 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1992" (1992). Circuit Court Opinions. 357.