Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: June 16, 2014
  • Case #: 13–193
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Thomas, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court
  • Full Text Opinion

When determining if a party meets Article III standing requirements, a credible threat of enforcement meets the injury in fact portion of the standing requirements.

Petitioners challenged a state statute that prohibits certain types of false statements from being made during political campaigns. The statute prohibits any person from making false statements regarding the vote record of a candidate or public official or to distribute false statements about the candidate. Petitioner and another group wished to publicize the voting record of Congress members who voted for the Affordable Care Act, claiming that these same members voted on a bill that supported taxpayer-funded abortions.

The District Court dismissed the suit as non-justiciable, as the suit did not present a sufficient proof of injury for ripeness standing. The Six Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court held that Petitioners "have alleged a credible threat of enforcement," and that alleged threat qualified as an Article III injury in fact when determining if Petitioners met the requirements for Article III standing. Thus, the Court reversed and remanded the judgment of the court of appeals to determine whether the remaining Article III standing requirements were also met.

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