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Required Conditions For Constitutional Adjudication


The Supreme Court and lower federal courts will only hear justiciable cases, i., cases appropriate for federal adjudication on the merits.

B. Sources of Justiciability

Standards The conditions necessary for justiciability are derived either from interpretations of the Article III, Section: 2 requirement that there be a “case or controversy,” or from general Supreme Court policies developed apart from the Constitution.

C. Requirements for Justiciability

A suit is justiciable when certain conditions are present. Mnemonic: SCRIMPS.

1. Standing {Allen v. Wright)
A plaintiff must have standing to invoke the adjudicatory power of the federal courts. Standing is created when the plaintiff has a personal stake in the suit’s outcome. The “personal stake” requirement is met where:

a. There is distinct and palpable (not speculative) injury to the plaintiff;
b. A fairly traceable causal connection exists between the claimed injury and the challenged conduct; and
c. There is a substantial likelihood that the relief requested will prevent or redress the claimed injury.

Taxpayer Standing A taxpayer will have standing to challenge a Congressional expenditure only if it meets the dual-nexus test established in Flast v. Cohen.

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