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The Justiciability Doctrines

Case or Controversy

Article III states that the judicial power of the federal courts extends only to cases and controversies which arise under the Constitution, federal laws of the United States and its treaties. This remains the overlying principle y which the courts determine whether or not an issue is justicia le, and has led to the esta lishment of the justicia ility doctrines. These doctrines are used to determine whether a case or controversy actually exists, and if one does then the issues are considered justicia le.
Advisory Opinions

Since Article III mandates that the judiciary only has power over cases and controversies, the Supreme Court has held that where a case or controversy does not exist, the judiciary is not to issue any advisory opinion regarding the matter. This prohi ition against advisory opinions helps to serve separation of powers! y not issuing advisory opinions, the federal judiciary is "eeping the courts out of the political process, and leaving that process solely to the discretion of the legislative and executive ranches. Additionally, y not issuing advisory opinions, the judiciary is conserving its resources for cases that actually need adjudication. Three asic re#uirements must e met so that the judiciary may hear a case and issue an opinion that would not e advisory. $irst, the case needs to present an actual dispute, not a hypothetical legal #uestion. %y re#uiring an actual dispute, the judiciary is ensuring that any decision issued in the case is the final one ecause it was ased upon concrete facts and not upon some fanciful situation which may not have presented a complete picture of the controversy. The second re#uirement is that the dispute is etween adverse litigants. Adversariness is re#uired to ensure that the case rought efore the courts truly involves a controversy that is in need of a resolution& if the opponents are not true adversaries, then any issued opinion would e advisory. The last re#uirement is that if a decision is issued in favor of the claimant, there is a su stantial li"elihood that it would have some effect. In any situation where the opposing party could ignore the ruling, then the opinion lac"sfinality and is in effect advisory. 'eclaratory judgments are justicia le as long as they present a real controversy. 'eclaratory judgments that meet these criteria are themselves justicia le. Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Haworth, ()) U.S. **+ ,-.(+/.
Mootness and Ripeness

0ootness and 1ipeness oth deal with the existence of an actual controversy& mootness with whether the controversy has terminated, and ripeness with whether it is ready for adjudication. A case will e declared moot if the defendant dies during a

criminal trial, if the plaintiff dies during a civil action and the action does not survive the death ,usually y statute/, and if the parties settle etween themselves efore a final judgement is entered. In these situations the issues are no longer redressa le.2xceptions do exist to the mootness doctrine which allow a case to e heard! where secondary injuries exist that may e addressed y the court& cases which involve a wrong that is capa le of repetition and li"ely to evade review& where an illegal practice has een terminated ut it could e resumed at any time& and in a properly certified class action suit. Cases are declared not ripe ecause the injuries are either too speculative or they may never occur. The rationale ehind the ripeness doctrine is that a court should not issue premature judgements ased on a stract disagreements. Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, (3+ u.s. -(4 ,-.4+/. 1ipeness typically arises when preenforcement review of a statute is sought, at which point to considerations are examined, and oth must e present in order for an issue to e ripe. $irst, the plaintiff must show that a hardship is li"ely to e suffered in the a sence of a judgement. This hardship could e caused y the law as it will eventually e applied, y collateral injuries, or ecause compliance with the law causes the hardship, and the only other choice is to rea" the law with the resulting conse#uences of eing prosecuted. The second consideration is whether the issues are fit for a judicial decision. An issue that specific facts would assist in the judicail consideration will e found not ripe, while an issue is ripe when it is mostly a #uestion of law, one which does not depend on context.
Standing

A determination that a person lac"s standing means that person is not the proper party to ring the issue efore the court for adjudication. The Standing 'octrine is viewed as a tool that promotes oth the Separation of 5ower and judicial efficiency. Separation of 5ower is achieved through limiting the issues the judiciary hears, thus limiting review of the other ranches of government. The limiting of cases efore the courts promotes judicial efficiency, and this limiting also improves the decision6 ma"ing a ility of the judiciary through ensuring a specific controversy and that an advocate with a sta"e in the outcome is present to pursue the matter. $our re#uirements must e met efore a party will e granted standing in the federal judiciary, all of which must e met. The first three re#uirements are ased upon Article III as Constitutional arriers to standing, and the last is an exercise of judicial restraint which may e overridden y Congressional statute. The first re#uirement is that the parties must e adversaries. This is shown through the plaintiff having suffered or imminently li"ely to suffer a distinct and palpa le injury.

A mere interest in the pro lem is insufficient to esta lish standing. Therefore, the complaint must specifically allege that the plaintiff has suffered or is li"ely to suffer a distinct injury. The injury may even e one of aesthetic concerns, so long as it is personally suffered and is legally cogni7a le. U.S. v. SCRAP, 8-* U.S. 44. ,-.+(/. Additionally, a plaintiff see"ing declaratory or injunctive relief must show a li"elihood of injury in the future. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 84- U.S. .9 ,-.3(/. Injuries which are sufficient to satisfy this re#uirement have generally een found to e any injury ased on the common law and injuries ased on a violation of the Constitution. Congress may create adversariness through statute, ut it cannot create standing so that the pu lic in general satisfies the statutory re#uirement. Lu an v. !efenders of "ildlife, --* S. Ct. *-() ,-..*/. Along this same line of reasoning, the Court will not permit an individual to sue the government on the asis of eing a taxpayer or forcing the government to comply with the law. The second and third re#uirements are that the named defendant,s/ e the causation of the injuries and that the injury is redressa le through the court. The Supreme Court has declared that these are separate in#uiries, ut they are very often examined at the same time. The plaintiff must show that the injury is fairly tracea le to the defendant through a causal nexus lin"ing the action of the defendant with the injury. The lin" must usually e a direct one, without the intervention of a third party. :here there is the intervention of a third party, the court may find that there was no causation, or that the injury is not redressa le. In examining redressa ility, the court loo"s to the remedies sought in the pleadings and examines those for the li"ely affect they would have on the injury. :hen the injury depends on the actions of a third party, a court order will not affect that party, and the injury cannot e redressed. ;owever, an injury caused y the defendant can e directly compensated for y the court. See elow for a detailed description of the judicial restraint re#uirement the courts use to find an issue non6justicia le.
Political Question

An issue, even a Constitutional one, which the Court feels is est resolved y one of the other ranches of government may denied judicial review under the 5olitical <uestion 'octrine. These issues are generally political in nature, and the court feels that the political system of accounta ility is the est mechanism to resolve the issues, as opposed to a mandate from the courts. =ften, these issues are either given wholly to another ranch of government in the Constitution, or there is a lac" of judicially managea le standards for resolving it, or for a num er of other reasons. See #a$er v. Carr, (.4 U.S. -34, *-+ ,-.4*/. These principals have een applied in such areas as the repu lican form of government clause in Article I>, ?8, foreign relations, and

Congress@ control of its own internal processes.


Judicial Restraint

Audicial restraint has two aspects to its nature. The first is the use of discretion in granting certiorari, and the second is a set of prudential rules used to deny a party standing in a particular case. Currently, the Supreme Court has the power to deny certiorari in any case. Congress, however, has the power under Article III to re#uire Supreme Court review for any issue. The prudential restraint rules focus on whether the plaintiff@s own rights are eing asserted, or whether someone else@s rights are eing asserted. There is no general third party standing, except in cases of the -st Amendment and where a special relationship exists etween the injured party and the party asserting the right. The special relationships which are permitted to exert third party standing are very limited. A close relationship is re#uired etween the third party and the right eing asserted, such as an association which is closely tied to the claimed right or a party which has a 7one of interest encompassing the right. Congress may also change any of these rules since they are not ased within the Constitution.