Because Federal courts only have constitutional authority to resolve actual disputes (see Case or Controversy) legal actions cannot be brought simply on the ground that an individual or group is displeased with a government action or law. Only those with enough direct stake in an action or law have "standing" to challenge it. A decision that a party does not have sufficient stake to sue will commonly be put in terms of the party's lacking "standing". For Supreme Court decisions focusing on the "standing" issue, see, e.g., County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991), Northeastern Fla. Chapter of the Associated Gen. Contractors v. City of Jacksonville, 508 U.S. 656 (1993) and Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992).
Legal Information Institute