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In essence, the question of standing is whether the litigant is entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular issues. This inquiry involves both constitutional limitations on federal court jurisdiction and prudential limitations on its exercise. E.g., Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U. S. 249, 346 U. S. 255-256 (1953). In both dimensions, it is founded in concern about the proper -- and properly limited -- role of the courts in a democratic society. See Schlesinger v. Reservists to Stop the War, 418 U. S. 208, 418 U. S. 221-227 (1974); United States v. Richardson, 418 U. S. 166, 418 U. S. 188-197 (1974) (POWELL, J., concurring).

 

In its constitutional dimension, standing imports justiciability: whether the plaintiff has made out a 'case or controversy' between himself and the defendant within the meaning of Art. III. This is the threshold question in every federal case, determining the power of the court to entertain the suit. As an aspect of justiciability, the standing question is whether the plaintiff has 'alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy' as to warrant his invocation of federal court jurisdiction and to justify ...

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