Judicial Power

Topics: Jury, United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 8 (3317 words) Published: April 26, 2005
Section 1
The resources of our court system are finite and for this a potential plaintiff must satisfy a number of requirements. Before an individual can argue their case before a judge he must show standing. He must show that he has personally had his rights violated, and further that he has sustained some kind of loss. If the victim has a legitimate complaint the matter must be resolved by a judge, or a jury of his peers. Through fact-finding the issues at stake are converted into hard legal questions. Through a decisional process an output, or ruling, is issued. In most cases this settles a dispute. In many others it spells the beginning of years of political and judicial wrangling, which sees laws upheld, struck down and created For a person to gain access to the courts they must satisfy several requirements. As Iv already mentioned, a person must show that he has personally had his rights violated. Further, he must have sustained some kind of loss. A party that fails to show that a law has, or will, harm him will be found to lack standing. Section 2, article 3 of the constitution enumerates three criteria to gain standing in the courts. First, judicial power must extend to all cases, and controversies. An injury must have actually occurred, or be imminent. Further, the injury must pertain to the zone of interest meant to be regulated or protected under the statutory or constitutional guarantee in question. After this a judge or prosecutor will ask if causation is directly attributable to the named defendant. Finally, a plaintiff must show redressibility. Redressibility is the plaintiff's ability to sue, and win. A circumstantial argument on the part of the plaintiff is not enough. They must show how they want the court to rule, and how that ruling will correct the injustice. Im the case of Lujan v. Defenders of wildlife the Supreme Court define redressibility requirements. They stated that the party invoking federal jurisdiction must establish and measure up to each of these three requirements. The obsticles to abtaining standing don't end here. The prohibition of third party standing asserts that third parties, with an interest in a cases outcome, may not file on behalf of the offended. The prohibition of generalized grievances holds that a plaintiff cannot sue as a tax payer on the grounds of grievances shared by all tax payers. In Frothingham v. Mellon (1923) the court holds that a federal tax payer is without standing to challenge the constitutionality of a federal statute. Foe 45 years Frothingham has prevented challenges to acts of congress. For a suit to reach the chambers of the Supreme Court it must satisfy many, more rigorous, and arbitrary requirements. A plaintiff, who files a writ of certiorari will only be heard if their case is "ripe" for adjudication. This means that society has wrestled with this subject long enough, and is ready to have a definitive ruling in the matter. If a case is too ripe it will fall off the tree and rot. In this case it will be denied a hearing under the "mootness" doctrine, as the matter is no longer contentious. An exception to the mootness doctrine was established by Justice Stewart in Roe v. Wade, when he reasoned that by the time a case could be heard, the pregnancy would have ended (in one way or another). In the case of Sierra Club v. Morton (1972), the Sierra club filed suit on behalf of the public, but since they could not show a direct injury, the case was denied standing. In the 60's class action suits became a popular avenue to addressing widespread instances of discrimination. Today they are employed in a variety of cases. While they were first allowed as an efficient way to address many of the same complaint, today they are abused, and thus subject to higher standing requirements. In Zahn v. International Paper Company (1973) citizens in multiple states sued the company for damages suffered as a result of river pollution. In this case the court...
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