This contribution to the Notre Dame Law Review’s annual Federal Courts Symposium on “The Nature of the Federal Equity Power” asks what the traditions of equity can tell us about Article III standing. I take as my point of departure the observation by Professors Sam Bray and Paul Miller, in their contribution to the Symposium, that equity does not have causes of action as such—or at least not in the same way as actions at law. This is potentially important for standing, as many academic critiques of the Supreme Court's standing jurisprudence have argued that standing should turn on whether the plaintiff has a cause of action. If Article III standing is to reflect traditional notions of which disputes are appropriate for judicial resolution, however, then that inquiry should include traditional practice on the equity side of the house, not just on the law side. I conclude that an equitable “grievance”—which Bray and Miller suggest plays a parallel role in equity to causes of action at law—typically involves a more particularized set of circumstances involving concrete harm or unfairness to the plaintiff. Equitable grievance, in other words, looks a lot like injury in fact. Attention to traditional equity practice thus may help put the Court's much-maligned injury-in-fact jurisprudence on a firmer footing.
Ernest A. Young,
Standing, Equity, and Injury in Fact,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol97/iss5/4