No jurisdictional principle is more fundamental to the federal judiciary than the doctrine of standing. Before litigants may avail themselves of the tremendous power vested in the federal judiciary, plaintiffs must first establish that they are appropriately situated to assert a legal claim before a court. In analyzing whether a plaintiff possesses the requisite standing to maintain a legal challenge, the Supreme Court has stressed that a court’s analysis must be blind to the underlying dispute: “The fundamental aspect of standing is that it focuses on the party seeking to get his complaint before a federal court and not on the issues he wishes to have adjudicated.” Unfortunately, an examination of the Supreme Court’s application of standing doctrine suggests that the Court has peeked behind the veil to examine the underlying claims of litigants, applying standing doctrine in an inconsistent manner to legal challenges falling within a specific field of jurisprudence: abortion.

This Note contends that the Supreme Court has misapplied foundational principles of standing to suits brought by plaintiffs challenging state abortion regulations, departing from black letter standing requirements. In particular, this Note explains how the judiciary’s continued practice of allowing abortion service providers and doctors to litigate the rights of nonlitigant, third-party women is at odds with the Supreme Court’s prudential prohibition on third-party standing.



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