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Federal Jurisdiction
University of Mississippi School of Law
Cochran, George C.

Federal Jurisdiction Outline
Fall 2007
Keyed to Erwin Chemerinsky, Federal Jurisdiction (5th ed. 2007) – GET THE BOOK AND DON’T BOTHER WITH THE ACTUAL TEXT BOOK
All cases are United States Supreme Court unless otherwise noted
Part I.            Constitutional and Statutory Limits on Federal Court Jurisdiction
Chapter 2        Justiciability Doctrines: Constitutional and Prudential Limits on Federal Judicial Power
§         Justiciability Doctrines
o       General prohibition against advisory opinions (must be actual case or controversy & decision by court would actually have an effect)
o       Standing
o       Ripeness
o       Mootness
o       Political Questions
§ 2.3    Standing
·        Introduction: standing is one of the most confused areas of the law – opinions are best described as “erratic” and “even bizarre”
o       Elements of standing may be viewed in a different light based on the merits of the case – the courts will often use standing (and other justiciability doctrines) in order to avoid a ruling on the merits of a difficult case or a case that the resolution of would create additional problems for courts
§         General Constitutional Requirements for Standing:
o       Injury in Fact – this is the core principle of standing
§         An invasion of a legally protected interest which is:
·        Concrete and particularized (Lujan); and
·        Actual rather than hypothetical
§         Must not be merely speculative (Lujan)
o       Causation:
§         The injury must be fairly traceable to the defendant’s action.
§         The injury cannot result from the independent actions of some third party not before the court. 
o       Redressability:
§         It must be likely that the injury will be directly redressed by a favorable decision. 
§         Prudential Standing Doctrines
o       3rd Party Standing – generally, cannot assert the rights of another (Singleton v. Wulff)
o       Taxpayer Standing – generally, cannot sue when only injury is an increased tax burden (but see Flast v. Cohen)
o       “Zone of Interest” Requirement – P must be part of group intended to benefit under the law (Data Processing v. Camp)
§ 2.3.2 Injury
·        P must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the challenged conduct and the injury must be both real and immediate, not conjectural or hypothetical (City of Los Angeles v. Lyons)
·        Injury in fact = an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (1) concrete or particularized and (2) actual or imminent (Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife)
·        P can claim an injury to common law rights, constitutional rights, and statutory rights
Congress has broad authority to create injuries that are the basis of standing (FEC v. Akins; Trafficante v. Met. Life Ins.); while statute may authorize “citizen suit;” however, under Lujan P must still show constitutional requirements for standing
o       ACLU v. NSA: suit against NSA for wire

ration: Suit brought by owners of land adjacent to area where mining is proposed. 
§         Ct holds this is not direct injury so no standing. Injury must be direct injury.
o       Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife: Suit challenging head of Dept of Interior’s failure to consult with other agencies w/ re: to endangered species – statute says “any person may commence a civil suit”
§         USSC: When P is not himself the object of gov’t action, standing is not precluded,but it’s substantially more difficult. 
§         Must have PARTICULARIZED INJURY – constitutional requirements must be met
o       Stewart v. Blackwell: Post-Lujan 6th Circuit Case. Example of panel playing w/ Lujan and injury requirement. Suit seeks injunction against use of punch cards or optical scan voting in Ohio claiming violation of EPC. Lujan required particularized injury, but this panel says allegations of an increased threat of harm are sufficient to meet standing in 6th Cir. BUT SEE
U.S. v. S.C.R.A.P.: most liberal standing case – this is not the winning argument before the current court – SC concluded that aesthetic or environmental harm is enough BUT P must personally suffer the harm (buy a ticket, actually go there, etc.)