Virginia v. Hicks, 539 U.S. 113, 9 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 113 (2003)

Opinion of the Court

altering tangible legal rights," id., at 619, an actual injury in fact—inability to prosecute Hicks for trespass—that is sufficiently "distinct and palpable" to confer standing under Article III, Warth v. Seldin, 422 U. S. 490, 501 (1975). We accordingly proceed to that merits inquiry, leaving for another day the question whether our ordinary rule that a litigant may not rest a claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties, see Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U. S. 464, 474 (1982), would exclude a case such as this from initiation in federal court.


The Virginia Supreme Court found that the RRHA policy allowed Gloria S. Rogers, the manager of Whitcomb Court, to exercise "unfettered discretion" in determining who may use the RRHA's property. 264 Va., at 59, 563 S. E. 2d, at 680. Specifically, the court faulted an "unwritten" rule that persons wishing to hand out flyers on the sidewalks of Whitcomb Court need to obtain Rogers' permission. Ibid. This unwritten portion of the RRHA policy, the court concluded, unconstitutionally allows Rogers to "prohibit speech that she finds personally distasteful or offensive." Id., at 60, 563 S. E. 2d, at 681.

Hicks, of course, was not arrested for leafleting or demonstrating without permission. He violated the RRHA's written rule that persons who receive a barment notice must not return to RRHA property. The Virginia Supreme Court, based on its objection to the "unwritten" requirement that demonstrators and leafleters obtain advance permission, declared the entire RRHA trespass policy overbroad and void—including the written rule that those who return after receiving a barment notice are subject to arrest. Whether these provisions are severable is of course a matter of state law, see Leavitt v. Jane L., 518 U. S. 137, 139 (1996) (per curiam), and the Virginia Supreme Court has implicitly de-


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