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In Jesse Jackson’s famous Saturday Night Live sketch, every question was moot. Luckily for litigants, our courts take a more forgiving view. This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider questions relating to justiciability in a diverse array of cases touching upon national security, trademark law, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Hague Convention. Each case turns on whether there is a “case” or “controversy,” as required by Article III of the Constitution.

Did Plaintiff Suffer an Injury Capable of Redress?

The Supreme Court will address the limits of the standing doctrine in a case involving national security, Clapper v. Amnesty International USA. In Clapper, a group including attorneys and media organizations is challenging the constitutionality of recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which created new procedures for government surveillance of foreign citizens. The plaintiffs argue that they have standing to sue because they “fear” the government will monitor their sensitive and privileged international communications under the act, and they have therefore taken “costly and burdensome” protective measures.

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