Wittman v. Personhuballah

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Standing
  • Date Filed: May 23, 2016
  • Case #: 14–1504
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: BREYER, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
  • Full Text Opinion

To satisfy the Article III standing requirements, a party must raise more than a mere allegation of an injury, but must also present evidence that an injury resulted from the challenged conduct.

Petitioners, three members of Congress, intervened in a case involving alleged unconstitutional racial gerrymandering of voting districts in Virginia. A three-judge district court panel determined the redistricting plan (“Enacted Plan”) was unconstitutional and ultimately ordered a special master to devise a new plan. Petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate the Enacted Plan. The Court reviewed Petitioners’ standing in the case under Article III, which requires a party to show that they have suffered an “injury-in-fact,” which is “fairly traceable” to the challenged conduct, and a favorable decision would likely “redress” the injury. The Court noted that Petitioners were no longer members of the districts in controversy, and Petitioners did not present any evidence showing that an alternative to the Enacted Plan would reduce their reelection prospects. Because Petitioners presented no evidence of any harm they would suffer as a result of the alternative plan, the Court concluded that the standing requirements were not met and the Court lacked jurisdiction to review the merits of the case. DISMISSED.

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