Constitutional Law: Federal Judicial Power: Judicial Review: Standing

Always discuss STANDING first on an essay

    • STANDING: Plaintiff’s goal to assert standing is that she must show a concrete personal stake in the outcome of the case. To establish this, Plaintiff must satisfy 1 (maybe 2) doctrines:
      • First, the constitutional standard imposed by the case and controversy requirement (of A3 sec. 2).
      • Second, the doctrine of prudential limitation.
      • Constitutional Standard: requires Plaintiff to show:
        • (1) injury in fact (usually will be economic, but may also be aesthetic or environmental).
        • (2) causationthe relief sought must eliminate the harm alleged (redressability).
        • EX: low income minority plaintiff is suing city, claiming that zoning ordinance was denying affordable housing. SCOTUS = Plaintiff has no standing. Even if ordinance was overturned, housing is still expensive.
      • Doctrine of prudential limitations: limits imposed by the Constitution itself in its prudential wisdom.
      • Even when the constitutional standard has been satisfied, there are certain instances where the court will deny standing. 3rd party standing and Generalized grievances.
      • No Third Party Standing: Generally, Plaintiff may only advance his or her own constitutional rights.
        • Exceptions: OK where Plaintiff can satisfy 2 requirements:
          • Plaintiff must show close nexus between plaintiff’s rights and third party’s rights.
          • Plaintiff must show a special need to adjudicate.
        • Instances of when 3P standing allowed:
          • Bartender may raise rights of customers
          • Dr. may raise rights of patient (abortion)
          • School for its minor students
          • Labor union for the claims of its members
        • Organization may sue for its members. If
          • (1) members would have standing to sue
          • (2) interests are germane to organization’s purpose
          • (3) neither the claim, nor relief requires participation of individual members.
      • No Generalized Grievances: Citizen standing generally denied.
        • MBE: Organization dedicated to keeping federal constitution within its powers = abstract/generalized grievance
      • Taxpayer Standing
        • State Taxpayers: Do have standing to challenge measurable expenditures (i.e. state taxpayer challenging bussing of children to parochial school. Bussing is a measurable expenditure). However, if the measure is other than financial, they have no standing.
        • Federal Taxpayers: Have NO standing. Their interest is too remote. BUT EXCEPTION:
          • A federal taxpayer does have standing to make an establishment clause challenge to an expenditure enacted under the taxing and spending power
          • MBE: Congress authorizes a gift of federal property in the form of a military cargo airplane. Congress told the Secretary of the interior he could give plane to any deserving group. He gives plane to a religious group. There is no standing here because Congress authorized the gift under the federal property power, and NOT the taxing and spending power.

Standing summary: Plaintiff must establish a concrete personal stake in the outcome. To do so, Plaintiff must satisfy the constitutional standard by showing (1) injury in fact and (2) causation.

Under the doctrine of prudential limitation, there is generally no 3rd party standing unless plaintiff can show a close relationship and special need; also there is no standing for abstract and generalized grievances. There is no citizen standing. State taxpayers have standing for measurable expenditures, BUT no standing if its anything other than financial. Federal taxpayers have no standing unless it is an establishment clause challenge to an expenditure enacted under the taxing and spending power.