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Talking sense on standing

A rigorous standing doctrine, wrote John Roberts Jr. in a 1993 Duke Law Journal article discussing Justice Scalia's opinion for the Court in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, is "an apolitical limitation on judicial power. It restricts the right of conservative public interest groups to challenge liberal agency action or inaction, just as it restricts the right of liberal public interest groups to challenge conservative agency action or inaction."

Lujan had attracted criticism as disrespectful of legislative power because the Court had ruled that even Congress's enactment of a statutory provision intended to confer standing on a group might fail in that effect if the group lacked any real stake in a controversy. "Far from an assault on other branches," Roberts countered, "this is an insistence that they are supreme within their respective spheres, protected from intrusion -- however welcomed or invited -- of the judiciary." (Hat tip: Lily Henning, Legal Times)(a little more on standing).



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.