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Published on October 12, 2007

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Slide1:  Justiciability – Part III (Special Problems in Standing) Jan. 27, 2006 Standing Elements:  Standing Elements Discrete and Palpable Injury Caused by Defendant's (alleged) Action Remediable by Court Plaintiff's personal rights at stake 1. Injury in Fact:  1. Injury in Fact General Rule: Plaintiff must allege a discrete & palpable injury differentiated, unique no generalized grievances class actions ok legally cognizable breach of Hohfeldian rights personal & proprietary interests (positive or common law) contrast: public rights & ideological interests (Sierra Club) Non de-minimus (rules out taxpayer standing) Injury must be existent or imminent speculative future injuries not included Taxpayer Standing:  Taxpayer Standing General Rule: Taxpayer injury (higher taxes) is both de minimus, and not “caused” by illegal expenditures Flast v. Cohen (1968) Exception for “establishment clause” claims Clause intended specifically to preclude religious tax Dual nexus test between injury and defendant’s action (causation) between injury and constitutional claim this 2nd element never followed; Flast limited to its facts 2. Causation:  2. Causation General Rule: D’s illegal action is legal cause of P’s injury “But for” test (need not be “proximate” cause) Linda R.S. v. Richard D. (1973) Was state’s failure to enforce child support decree the reason father stopped paying? If he wouldn’t pay despite enforcement (e.g., jail), then lack of enforcement is not a “but for” cause See also Simon v. EKWRO; Allen v. Wright Note: relation between causation and remedy elements of standing Similar relation between injury & causation Duke Power v. CESG (1978):  Duke Power v. CESG (1978) Facts: Neighbors of nuclear power plant challenge Price-Anderson Act, which limits liability ($640M) Claim: limits violate due process Injury: Inadequate compensation for nuclear accident Speculative, future injury Depressed property values near power plant Current injury Causation Federal Act causes this specific injury 3. Redressability:  3. Redressability Court must be able to fashion a remedy that will alleviate plaintiff’s injury Often the flip side of causation inquiry Sometimes due to nature of requested relief Example: Linda R.S. v. Richard D. (1973) Jailing father for non-support doesn't get mother more $$ Example: Warth v. Seldin (1975) Invalidating exclusionary housing ord. does not necessarily result in more affordable housing Inability to alleviate the injury is tanta-mount to rendering an "advisory opinion" Standing Elements:  Standing Elements Discrete and Palpable Injury Caused by Defendant Remediable by Court Plaintiff's personal rights at stake Irreducible minimums of Article III 4. Personal Rights:  4. Personal Rights Jus Tertii Standing Ordinarily, plaintiff must allege the violation of a right that is personal to her More vigorous proponent of right – better advocate "Prudential" element To avoid needless friction with other branches If right holder not sufficiently interested, why decide? Court can craft exceptions For countervailing policy reasons Not so with Art. III restrictions Jus Tertii standing:  Jus Tertii standing General rule: Must assert own rights, not those of 3rd parties This is a prudential rule of self-restraint Designed to avoid needless friction w/ other branches Rights holder is generally best advocate Why adjudicate the issue if absent from proceeding? Exceptions: Right holder not available to vindicate right Special relationship between P and right holder Overriding policy desire to vindicate right Craig v. Boren (1976):  Craig v. Boren (1976) Curtis Craig (on right) and his lawyers Craig v. Boren (1976):  Craig v. Boren (1976) General rule: Each P must establish standing (on each claim) Craig: mooted (NB he sought prospective relief) Whitener: Meets first 3 standing elements; not 4th Exceptions: Special relationship Doctor-patient; parent-child; bartender-patron? Rights holders not readily available Chilling effect of laws burdening 1st amd rights Waiver? Citizen Standing:  Citizen Standing General rule: No “citizen” standing (generalized grievance) Assuring Exec. Branch compliance with law Congress has few oversight mechanisms Exec. Branch violations that do not readily create discrete and palpable injury Actions occurring overseas Pres. Reagan’s violation of Bolton Act Pres. Bush’s policies re. war on terrorism Actions with broad-based impact Private attorney general theory Congress’ control over standing:  Congress’ control over standing Injury-in-fact (element #1) Hohfeldian rights (including statutory rights) Congress may create rights in large groups of people E.g., FEC v. Akins (1998) (any aggrieved voter could sue to enforce FECA - standing upheld) Statute is not dispositive; S.Ct. retains ultimate authority to determine if this is a cognizable injury Personal rights (element #4) Where injury-in-fact arises from breach of statutory right, congress fixes “zone of interest” Statute is dispositive Compare “zone of interest” for constitutional rights Slide15:  v. Secretary of the Interior, Manuel Lujan Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) 1. Injury in Fact: AID-funded projects threaten habitat of endan-gered species (crocodile, elephant & leopard) Do endangered animals have standing? Do humans if they study/recreate with endangered species? [vocational or professional injury] Slide19:  “Teldeniya, a village once renowned for producing cotton, tobacco, coconuts and vegetables, now lies buried under several hundred tons of water of the [Mahaweli] reservoir.” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) 1. Injury in Fact: Is the injury discrete & palpable to plaintiff? Specific or conjectural? Some certainty required – injury must be “imminent” Undifferentiated “some day” intent insufficient How proximate must the injury be? Scalia: “Person claiming injury from environmental damage must use the [specific] area affected by the challenged action” rejects ecosystem and animal nexii How much proof req’d at summary judgment? See Blackmun/O’Connor dissent Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) 2. Causation: Did (or will) Secretary of Interior, by failing to require AID to consult on dam building project, cause plaintiff’s object of study to disappear? Does lack of consultation inevitably mean funding of projects? NB: the right asserted (consultation) is a procedural one, not a substantive one What if congress actually prohibited projects causing env. damage? Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) 3. Redressability: Pl’s don’t seek to bar project, or funding, but to require promulgation of rules requiring consultation Would the regulations be binding on “Action Agencies” (project sponsors)? Even if they were, is that enough to interrupt project? Is this a matter for the jury? Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) Procedural vs. Substantive Rights No injury to substantive right (observe animals) But clear injury to procedural right – gov’t must follow the law Citizen-suit provision in Endangered Species Act Is this an “injury in fact”? 4. Personal Rights: General rule: plaintiffs can only sue to protect their own rights, not those of 3rd parties. Example: police conduct warrantless search of my neighbor’s house and find contraband belonging to me Examine right to see if pl. is within the “zone of interest” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) Can Congress create personal rights that satisfy Art. III injury injury requirement? Violating substantive statutory right = injury-in-fact Same for non-instrumental (procedural) rights? Congress can decide whether plaintiff is within zone of interest of statutory right (jus tertii issue), but Cannot decide whether that satisfies “injury in fact” requirement Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992):  Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife (1992) Non-instrumental (procedural) rights Most procedural rights are designed to protect substantive rights E.g., hearings on gov’t benefits Some procedural rights are designed to promote “good government” processes E.g., Env’l Impact Statements (“non-instrumental” rights) These rights are “cheap to confer;” conferred on everyone Right to information is instrumental. FEC v. Atkins The violation of a non-instrumental right does not create a “cognizable injury” Is this an outgrowth of SoP? Which branch loses? Which branch gains? Standing and Article III:  Standing and Article III How can Congress fix lack of standing to enforce procedural rights? Create more substantive rights I.e., impose substantive restrictions on Executive Does this solution promote SoP? Legislative Standing:  Legislative Standing General rule: C-members must satisfy all standing elements Vigorously enforced; entails Ct. in inter-branch spat Should Ct. be more/less willing to intervene in SoP struggles? Injury in fact Personal (unique to P) See Powell v. McCormack (1969) (Rep. Powell had standing to challenge his exclusion from the House) Official (common to all members) But unique to P’s representational status Usually when President violates SoP by usurping or interfering with congressional power See Souter concurrence Raines v. Byrd (1997):  Raines v. Byrd (1997) Claim: Line Item Veto Act violates “presentment clause” (SoP) Injury: Institutional injury - loss of congress’ power See Goldwater v. Carter (Pres. Carter’s refusal to submit cancellation of treaty to Senate) Difference between negation of legislators’ vote (not getting to vote) and dilution (lesser effect) of vote Byrd not complaining that he won’t get to vote on appropriations but that vote won’t be given full effect Should that make any difference, as Rehnquist says? Raines v. Byrd (1997):  Raines v. Byrd (1997) Injury: Byrd’s injury is common to all reps, yet they haven’t joined the lawsuit Looks like these Ps are challenging the acts of fellow congress members, not the president. Perhaps, where a rep’s injury is undifferentiated, the Court should stay out unless a majority agree

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