Court: U.S. Supreme Court
Term: October 2015
Oral Argument: November 2, 2015
Opinion: Justice Alito
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.
The RLC filed an amicus brief on the merits asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Ninth Circuit's interpretation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that allows unharmed plaintiffs to sue and recover from a defendant's alleged technical violation of the statute. Doing so would provide clarity to retailers, who are subject to hundreds of regulations and would facilitate their ability to comply with these laws in good faith.
The Court held that because the Ninth Circuit failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirement (that a plaintiff must prove that he suffered an injury that is "concrete and particularized"), that the Ninth Circuit's Article III standing analysis was incomplete. Without a decision on whether the Ninth Circuit reached the correct conclusion, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case.
Procedural History and Case Documents