Food and Commercial Workers v. Brown Group, Inc., 517 U.S. 544, 9 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP's) rights as a litigant, the association "and its members are in every practical sense identical." The Court accordingly permitted the NAACP to rely on violations of its members' First Amendment associational rights in suing to bar the State of Alabama from compelling disclosure of the association's membership lists. See also Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Comm. v. McGrath, 341 U. S. 123, 183-187 (1951) (Jackson, J., concurring); Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U. S. 249, 255-259 (1953); NAACP v. Button, 371 U. S. 415, 428 (1963); National Motor Freight Traffic Assn., Inc. v. United States, 372 U. S. 246, 247 (1963); Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U. S. 727, 739 (1972).

The modern doctrine of associational standing, under which an organization may sue to redress its members' injuries, even without a showing of injury to the association itself, emerges from a trilogy of cases. We first squarely recognized an organization's standing to bring such a suit in Warth v. Seldin, 422 U. S. 490 (1975).

"The association must allege that its members, or any one of them, are suffering immediate or threatened injury as a result of the challenged action of the sort that would make out a justiciable case had the members themselves brought suit. . . . [S]o long as the nature of the claim and of the relief sought does not make the individual participation of each injured party indispensable to proper resolution of the cause, the association may be an appropriate representative of its members, entitled to invoke the court's jurisdiction." Id., at 511.

Warth's requirements for associational standing were elaborated in Hunt. There we held that the Washington State Apple Advertising Commission, a state agency whose statutory charge was to promote the State's apple industry, had standing to bring a dormant Commerce Clause challenge to a North Carolina statute forbidding the display of Washington

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