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60 Notre Dame L. Rev. 417 (1984-1985)


In Moore v. U.S. House of Representatives,I the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit addressed the question of whether individual congressmen have standing to sue the Congress. In Moore, members of the House of Representatives sought declaratory relief to invalidate the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA).2 The congressmen contended that TEFRA originated in the Senate in violation of the origination clause of the United States Constitution, 3 which requires that bills for raising revenue originate in the House of Representatives. Although the District of Columbia Circuit ultimately denied relief on the basis of prudential considerations, 4 it held, significantly, that the congressmen had standing to bring suit in federal court.5 Thus, the Moore court determined that the federal court had jurisdiction over the controversy but that, because of prudential concerns, that power should not be exercised. Part I of this comment outlines the facts and holding of Moore. Part II examines the standing analysis which the court employed and concludes that the Moore court's finding of standing does not comport with traditional tests for standing. Finally, Part III discusses the court's decision to deny relief based on prudential considerations. This comment concludes that, contrary to the Moore holding, denial of relief should have been the consequence of constitutional command rather than judicial discretion.


Reprinted with permission of the Notre Dame Law Review.



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