Food and Commercial Workers v. Brown Group, Inc., 517 U.S. 544, 13 (1996)

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Opinion of the Court

the dispute, and thus be in a position to serve as the defendant's natural adversary.6 But once an association has satisfied Hunt's first and second prongs assuring adversarial vigor in pursuing a claim for which member Article III standing exists, it is difficult to see a constitutional necessity for anything more. See generally Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S. 555, 560-561 (1992). To see Hunt's third prong as resting on less than constitutional necessity is not, of course, to rob it of its value. It may well promote adversarial intensity. It may guard against the hazard of litigating a case to the damages stage only to find the plaintiff lacking detailed records or the evidence necessary to show the harm with sufficient specificity. And it may hedge against any risk that the damages recovered by the association will fail to find their way into the pockets of the members on whose behalf injury is claimed. But these considerations are generally on point whenever one plaintiff sues for

6 Because the union is statutorily entitled to receive notice under the WARN Act, and because of the paramount role, under federal labor law, that unions play in protecting the interests of their members, it is clear that this test is satisfied here. We therefore need not decide whether this prong is prudential in the sense that Congress may definitively declare that a particular relation is sufficient.

The germaneness of a suit to an association's purpose may, of course, satisfy a standing requirement without necessarily rendering the association's representation adequate to justify giving the association's suit preclusive effect as against an individual ostensibly represented. See generally Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts, 472 U. S. 797 (1985); Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Epstein, 516 U. S. 367, 395-399 (1996) (Ginsburg, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). See also Automobile Workers v. Brock, 477 U. S. 274, 289 (1986) ("[A]n association might prove an inadequate representative of its members' legal interests for a number of reasons"); Note, Associational Standing and Due Process: The Need for an Adequate Representation Scrutiny, 61 B. U. L. Rev. 174 (1981). In this case, of course, no one disputes the adequacy of the union, selected by the employees following procedures governed by a detailed body of federal law and serving as the duly authorized collective-bargaining representative of the employees, as an associational representative. See generally NLRB v. Gissel Packing Co., 395 U. S. 575 (1969).

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