Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992)

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certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the eighth circuit

No. 90-1424. Argued December 3, 1991—Decided June 12, 1992

Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 divides responsibilities regarding the protection of endangered species between petitioner Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, and requires each federal agency to consult with the relevant Secretary to ensure that any action funded by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence or habitat of any endangered or threatened species. Both Secretaries initially promulgated a joint regulation extending 7(a)(2)'s coverage to actions taken in foreign nations, but a subsequent joint rule limited the section's geographic scope to the United States and the high seas. Respondents, wildlife conservation and other environmental organizations, filed an action in the District Court, seeking a declaratory judgment that the new regulation erred as to 7(a)(2)'s geographic scope and an injunction requiring the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate a new rule restoring his initial interpretation. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's dismissal of the suit for lack of standing. Upon remand, on cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court denied the Secretary's motion, which renewed his objection to standing, and granted respondents' motion, ordering the Secretary to publish a new rule. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded.

911 F. 2d 117, reversed and remanded.

Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Part III-B, concluding that respondents lack standing to seek judicial review of the rule. Pp. 559-567, 571-578. (a) As the parties invoking federal jurisdiction, respondents bear the burden of showing standing by establishing, inter alia, that they have suffered an injury in fact, i. e., a concrete and particularized, actual or imminent invasion of a legally protected interest. To survive a summary judgment motion, they must set forth by affidavit or other evidence specific facts to support their claim. Standing is particularly difficult to show here, since third parties, rather than respondents, are the object of the Government action or inaction to which respondents object. Pp. 559-562.


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