Washington Law Review


A discussion of the requirements for obtaining review of governmental action might quickly degenerate into a sterile exercise in classification and distinction of the various situations in which challenges to governmental action were permitted or denied. The situations in which a person's interests, privileges, or rights have been sufficiently involved to confer upon him the standing to obtain review are many and varied. Certainly the Washington cases, which draw distinctions, later to be repudiated or ignored, between state action and municipal action and between expenditure of funds and control of property, as well as the various pertinent statutory provisions, offer tempting materials for one inclined to catalog a field of law. The subject is, however, one which benefits greatly when viewed in the broader perspective of the role of the judiciary in the process of government. The traditional legal language is that of standing and ripeness for review. So viewed, the question becomes one of political science as much as of law, and the evaluation of the soundness of decisions depends upon whether the judiciary has properly discharged its function in the operation of governmental machinery.

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