Nike, Inc. v. Kasky, 539 U.S. 654, 8 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 654 (2003)

Stevens, J., concurring


The second reason why, in my view, this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear Nike's claims is that neither party has standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts. See Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U. S. 149, 154-155 (1990) ("Article III, of course, gives the federal courts jurisdiction over only 'cases and controversies,' and the doctrine of standing serves to identify those disputes which are appropriately resolved through the judicial process"). Without alleging that he has any personal stake in the outcome of this case, respondent is proceeding as a private attorney general seeking to enforce two California statutes on behalf of the general public of the State of California. He has not asserted any federal claim; even if he had attempted to do so, he could not invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court because he failed to allege any injury to himself that is "distinct and palpable." Warth v. Seldin, 422 U. S. 490, 501 (1975). Thus, respondent does not have Article III standing. For that reason, were the federal rules of justiciability to apply in state courts, this suit would have been "dismissed at the outset." ASARCO Inc. v. Kadish, 490 U. S. 605, 617 (1989).2

Even though respondent would not have had standing to commence suit in federal court based on the allegations in the complaint, Nike—relying on ASARCO—contends that it has standing to bring the case to this Court. See Reply Brief for Petitioners 5. In ASARCO, a group of taxpayers brought a suit in state court seeking a declaration that the State's law on mineral leases on state lands was invalid. After the Arizona Supreme Court "granted plaintiffs a declaratory judgment that the state law governing mineral

2 Because the constraints of Article III do not apply in state courts, see ASARCO, 490 U. S., at 617, the California courts are free to adjudicate this case.


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