Spokeo Misspeaks

24 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 9, 2017


Most commentators have critiqued the Supreme Court’s opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins for failing to answer the question presented. But in important ways, the Spokeo opinion does not merely fail to speak — it affirmatively misspeaks. This essay suggests that underlying the Justices’ inability to see how standing law ought to apply to the facts in Spokeo is a failure to appreciate the power that consumer reports have over individuals’ life prospects today. Worse, the Justices’ unawareness of their own ignorance leads them to afford Congress little deference in identifying injuries occurring in our new information society. Their meta-ignorance also induces the Justices to credit their own judgment over the judgment of the market about what consumer information is material to determinations about employment, credit, insurance, and other market transactions. These are strange moves to make in the name of standing, a doctrine founded on a belief in judicial restraint.

Keywords: standing, Article III, injury, and Fair Credit Reporting Act

Suggested Citation

Willis, Lauren E., Spokeo Misspeaks (August 9, 2017). Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Forthcoming, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3015784

Lauren E. Willis (Contact Author)

Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )

919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States
213-736-1086 (Phone)
213-380-3769 (Fax)

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