Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peľa, 515 U.S. 200, 12 (1995)

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Cite as: 515 U. S. 200 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

nothing to establish a real and immediate threat that he would again" suffer similar injury in the future. Id., at 105.

If Adarand is to maintain its claim for forward-looking relief, our cases require it to allege that the use of subcon-tractor compensation clauses in the future constitutes "an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical." Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S. 555, 560 (1992) (footnote, citations, and internal quotation marks omitted). Adarand's claim that the Government's use of subcontractor compensation clauses denies it equal protection of the laws of course alleges an invasion of a legally protected interest, and it does so in a manner that is "particularized" as to Adarand. We note that, contrary to respondents' suggestion, see Brief for Respondents 29-30, Adarand need not demonstrate that it has been, or will be, the low bidder on a Government contract. The injury in cases of this kind is that a "discriminatory classification prevent[s] the plaintiff from competing on an equal footing." Northeastern Fla. Chapter, Associated Gen. Contractors of America v. Jacksonville, 508 U. S. 656, 667 (1993). The aggrieved party "need not allege that he would have obtained the benefit but for the barrier in order to establish standing." Id., at 666.

It is less clear, however, that the future use of subcontractor compensation clauses will cause Adarand "imminent" injury. We said in Lujan that "[a]lthough 'imminence' is concededly a somewhat elastic concept, it cannot be stretched beyond its purpose, which is to ensure that the alleged injury is not too speculative for Article III purposes—that the injury is 'certainly impending.' " Lujan, supra, at 565, n. 2. We therefore must ask whether Adarand has made an adequate showing that sometime in the relatively near future it will bid on another Government contract that offers financial incentives to a prime contractor for hiring disadvantaged subcontractors.

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