Washington Law Review


In Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, the Supreme Court upheld a grant of summary judgment against the National Wildlife Federation for lack of standing. The Court held that the federation failed to sufficiently claim specific injury to federation members. The Court also stated in dicta that the federation's claims were not ripe for review. The opinion does not apply precedent regarding summary judgment to the standing inquiry, and fails to apply precedent regarding ripeness to the facts of the case. This Note examines the reasoning of the Lujan Court, and compares the results reached with those suggested by unapplied precedents. Because applying the precedents would lead to a contrary result that is more desirable for policy reasons, this Note concludes that the Court erred in disregarding precedent. This Note suggests that properly applying precedents would have led to more carefully considered agency decisions, greater protection of the environment, and closer compliance with duly enacted laws by administrative agencies.

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