Current time: 06-19-2013, 12:14 PM
04-06-2012, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 04-08-2012 07:19 AM by Bruce Sloane.)
The Supreme Court has “consistently stressed” that a plaintiff lacks standing unless he can “establish that he has a ‘personal stake’ in the alleged dispute, and that the injury is
particularized as to him.”
Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811, 819 (1997 )
There are three standing requirements:
The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury—an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized.
The injury must be actual or imminent, distinct and palpable, not abstract.
This injury could be economic as well as non-economic.
There must be a causal nexus between the injury and the conduct complained of, so that the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant and not the result of the independent action of some third party who is not before the court.
It must be likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that a favorable court decision will redress the injury.
Additionally, there are three major prudential (judicially created) standing principles.
Congress can override these principles via statute:
1. Prohibition of Third Party Standing:
A party may only assert their own rights and cannot raise the claims of a third party who is not before the court; exceptions exist where the third party has interchangeable economic interests with the injured party, or a person unprotected by a particular law sues to challenge the oversweeping of the law into the rights of others.
For example, a party suing over a law prohibiting certain types of visual material, may sue because the 1st Amendment rights of theirs, and others engaged in similar displays, might be damaged.
Additionally, third parties who don't have standing may be able to sue under the next friend doctrine if the third party is an infant, mentally handicapped, or not a party to a contract.
One example of a statutory exception to the prohibition of third party standing exists in the qui tam provision of the Civil False Claims Act.
2. Prohibition of Generalized Grievances:
A plaintiff cannot sue if the injury is widely shared in an undifferentiated way with many people.
For example, the general rule is that there is no federal taxpayer standing, as complaints about the spending of federal funds are too remote from the process of acquiring them.
Such grievances are ordinarily more appropriately addressed in the representative branches.
3. Zone of Interest Test: There are in fact two tests used by the United States Supreme Court for the Zone of Interest
1. Zone of Injury - The injury is the kind of injury that Congress expected might be addressed under the statute.
2. Zone of Interests - The party is arguably within the zone of interest protected by the statute or constitutional provision.
Recent development of the doctrine
In 1984, the Supreme Court reviewed and further outlined the standing requirements in a major ruling concerning the meaning of the three standing requirements of injury, causation, and redressability.
In the suit, parents of black public school children alleged that the Internal Revenue Service was not enforcing standards and procedures that would deny tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory private schools.
Allen v. Wright 468 U.S. 737
The Court found that the plaintiffs did not have the standing necessary to bring suit.
Although the Court established a significant injury for one of the claims, it found the causation of the injury (the nexus between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries) to be too attenuated.
"The injury alleged was not fairly traceable to the Government conduct respondents challenge as unlawful".
In another major standing case, the Supreme Court elaborated on the redressability requirement for standing. The case involved a challenge to a rule promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior interpreting §7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA).
The rule rendered §7 of the ESA applicable only to actions within the United States or on the high seas.
The Court found that the plaintiffs did not have the standing necessary to bring suit, because no injury had been established.
The injury claimed by the plaintiffs was that damage would be caused to certain species of animals and that this in turn injures the plaintiffs by the reduced likelihood that the plaintiffs would see the species in the future.The Court insisted though that the plaintiffs had to show how damage to the species would produce imminent injury to the plaintiffs.
The Court found that the plaintiffs did not sustain this burden of proof.
"The 'injury in fact' test requires more than an injury to a cognizable interest.
It requires that the party seeking review be himself among the injured".
The injury must be imminent and not hypothetical.
Beyond failing to show injury, the Court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the standing requirement of redressability.
The Court pointed out that the respondents chose to challenge a more generalized level of Government action, "the invalidation of which would affect all overseas projects". This programmatic approach has "obvious difficulties insofar as proof of causation or redressability is concerned".
In a 2000 case, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765 (2000)
...the United States Supreme Court endorsed the "partial assignment" approach to qui tam relator standing to sue under the False Claims Act — allowing private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government for injuries suffered solely by the government.
04-06-2012, 10:54 AM
But Bruce, see, that depends on whether this "him" is One of We The People One/United -versus- one on his own-- which takes The Special Ones known as
[bonus: does "personal" have any connection with "person", and aren't there collectives that legally (Inc ink) are Persons, thus with a "personal stake"? "particularized" to "him"? Articleized? "In" LegalLand...]
Make your penance tithes and offerings to The Clerk (in FRNs).
--NonJurisPrudent2i (the artist formerly known as NonAxisOfEvil2i)
If you wish to communicate with me, first define your terms.
The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.
~George Bernard Shaw
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