Few legal doctrines confound federal courts and litigants more than those governing the issue of standing. One of the requirements to bring a claim in federal court is the establishment of Article III standing—that is, a would-be plaintiff must establish at the outset of a case that he or she has suffered (or imminently will suffer) a concrete, particularized “injury in fact” to a legally protected interest, that the injury is fairly traceable to the defendant’s challenged action, and that a favorable judgment would likely redress the injury.
Yet even if a plaintiff satisfies these criteria, other standing doctrines may still prevent a federal court from hearing his or her case. Among these are the doctrines of prudential standing and political subdivision standing. The U.S. Court of Appeals for Tenth Circuit recently addressed both of these doctrines in a case the court has now heard three times on issues of standing—and likely will again.
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