The Ripeness Doctrine Since 1967: Overview
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.
The Supreme Court has invoked Abbott Laboratories' two-part “fitness” and “hardship” test on numerous occasions since 1967,1 deeming a variety of controversies unripe under that standard.2 A discussion of post-1967 Supreme Court cases that have refined and developed the Abbott Laboratories standard follows.
- See, e.g., Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 670 n.2 (2010); Nat'l Park Hosp. Ass'n v. Dep't of Interior, 538 U.S. 803, 808 (2003); Texas v. United States, 523 U.S. 296, 300–01 (1998); Ohio Forestry Ass'n, Inc. v. Sierra Club, 523 U.S. 726, 733 (1998); Pac. Gas & Elec. Co. v. State Energy Res. Conservation & Dev. Comm'n, 461 U.S. 190, 201 (1983).
- See Nat'l Park Hosp. Ass'n, 538 U.S. at 808; Texas, 523 U.S. at 301-02; Ohio Forestry Ass'n, Inc., 523 U.S. at 732–33.
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