What does it mean if a plaintiff has "standing" or "lacks standing" to challenge a law's Constitutionality?
July 19, 2014
Standing means that a person has a legal capacity to sue.
Before a person can sue to challenge a law as unconstitutional that person must meet certain requirements. He must have suffered an injury, or be in danger of suffering an injury as a result of the law. Also, the Court must be able to provide some sort of remedy or help for the plaintiff if the Court finds in favor of the plaintiff.
As a practical matter this generally means that a person cannot claim that a law is unconstitutional on behalf of another person. Only a person who has actually been injured as a result of the allegedly unconstitutional law or government action has the right to sue. There are some exceptions to this rule which I'll discuss in a future post. If you take a US bar examination you might find that at least one of the questions on Constitutional law will focus on standing.
For now, here is a short video: