Sunday, November 30, 2014

Causation (and Standing)

Causation (and Standing) : the U.S. Supreme Court will not decide a constitutional challenge to a government action unless the person who is challenging the government action has standing to raise the constitutional issue. A concrete stake in the outcome of the controversy is necessary, in particular: causation: there must be a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of. As the court said in Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490 (1975), "Here, these petitioners rely on little more than the remote possibility, unsubstantiated by allegations of fact, that their situation might have been better had respondents acted otherwise, and might improve were the court to afford relief. Pp. 502-508.  POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, BLACKMUN, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which WHITE and MARSHALL, JJ., joined". In this case, some of the plaintiffs were claiming that a municipality's zoning policies prevented low income persons from finding housing in the municipality. Those plaintiffs were denied standing because they failed to show with sufficient probability that they would be able to afford housing in the municipality even absent the zoning policies.

Saisine de la Cour Suprême : conditions de recevabilité : la partie qui saisit la Cour doit en particulier démontrer qu’elle dispose d’un intérêt concret relativement à l’issue du litige. Elle doit aussi démontrer l’existence d’un lien de causalité entre le dommage et l’acte objet du litige. Dans cette affaire, rendue par la « Burger Court », certains requérants soutenaient que la législation d’aménagement du territoire d’une municipalité empêchait les personnes à bas revenus d’habiter dite municipalité. Ces requérants n’ont pas qualité pour saisir la Cour. Ils n’ont pas montré avec une probabilité suffisante qu’ils auraient pu habiter la municipalité même en l’absence de la législation contestée.

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