Representational Standing: Associational Standing
Article III, Section 2, Clause 1:
The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
Organizations do not have standing as such to represent their particular concept of the public interest,1 but organizations have been permitted to assert the rights of their members.2 In Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm’n,3 the Court promulgated elaborate standards, holding that an organization or association “has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when: (a) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (b) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization’s purpose; and (c) neither the claim asserted, nor the relief requested, requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit.” Similar considerations arise in the context of class actions, in which the Court holds that a named representative with a justiciable claim for relief is necessary when the action is filed and when the class is certified, but that following class certification there need be only a live controversy with the class, provided the adequacy of the representation is sufficient.4
- Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972). An organization may, of course, sue to redress injuries to itself. See Havens Realty Co. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 378–379 (1982).
- E.g., Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123 (1951); NAACP v. Alabama ex rel Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958); NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963); Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen v. Virginia, 377 U.S. 1 (1964); United Mine Workers v. Illinois State Bar Ass'n, 389 U.S. 217 (1967); United Transportation Union v. State Bar of Michigan, 401 U.S. 576 (1971).
- 432 U.S. 333, 343 (1977). The organization here was not a voluntary membership entity but a state agency charged with furthering the interests of apple growers who were assessed annual sums to support the Commission. Id. at 341–45. See also Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 510–17 (1975); Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Org., 426 U.S. 26, 39–40 (1976); Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Dev. Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 263–264 (1977); Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297, 321 (1980); International Union, UAW v. Brock, 477 U.S. 274 (1986).
- United States Parole Comm’n v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388 (1980). Geraghty was a mootness case.
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