Statutory Standing and the Tyranny of Labels
35 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2009 Last revised: 12 Feb 2010
Date Written: June 8, 2009
Constitutional and prudential standing doctrines have received an abundance of scholarly consideration. Statutory standing, in contrast, has remained largely unexplored. The Supreme Court’s use of the term is relatively consistent and unobjectionable, but the meaning that many lower courts ascribe to it is anything but innocuous. This article develops a conceptual framework for understanding the different ways in which different courts conceive of statutory standing. Using the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) as a paradigmatic example, it attempts to illustrate the pernicious effects that often result from common misconceptions of statutory standing in disputes involving purely private rights.
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