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Abstract

In this short Essay, I focus on only one aspect of the broader question of government standing to sue: congressional standing. For one thing, separation of powers problems are more acutely presented in federal level disputes.

Given an increased interest by parts of the Congress, especially the House of Representatives, in seeking to intervene in ongoing litigation, there are pressing new issues in the lower federal courts: U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer recently upheld congressional standing to challenge an asserted violation of the Appropriations Clause in connection with spending under the Affordable Care Act, while rejecting the House’s standing on a claim that the Secretary of the Treasury essentially misinterpreted the statute. And House leadership had threatened to bring an action challenging the President’s executive orders on immigration. A large number of state governments, however, brought an action challenging those executive orders, in which more than eighty House members appeared on an amicus brief.

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