calibred wrote:Edit: Probably another way-too-nitpicky issue, so feel free to scroll past.
City police officers shot and killed a robber as he attempted to escape arrest for an armed robbery he had committed. The robber's friend brought suit in federal district court against the city's police department and the city police officers involved, seeking only a judgment declaring unconstitutional the state statute under which the police acted. That newly enacted statute authorized police to use deadly force when necessary to apprehend a person who has committed a felony. In his suit, the friend alleged that the police would not have killed the robber if the use of deadly force had not been authorized by the statute.
The federal district court should
A. Decide the case on its merits, because it raises a substantial federal question.
B. Dismiss the action, because it involves a nonjusticiable political question.
C. Dismiss the action, because it does not present a case or controversy.
D. Dismiss the action, because the Eleventh Amendment prohibits federal courts from deciding cases of this type.
Answer choice C is correct. Whether a case may be heard by a federal court turns on the issues of standing, timing (mootness or ripeness), and other issues of justiciability. To establish standing, a plaintiff must show concrete and particularized injury-in-fact; the threat must be actual and imminent; it must be fairly traceable to the defendant’s conduct; and the relief requested must prevent or redress the injury. Here, the friend was not injured, and there are no facts to suggest he has the statutory authority to sue on behalf of his friend. Even assuming the plaintiff had standing, if a live controversy does not exist at each stage of review (not merely when the complaint is filed) the case is moot. Here again, there is no live controversy sought for review because the incident has already occurred.
This one seems wrong to me. Doesn't a person have third-party standing for a class of people that otherwise wouldn't be able to assert the defense on their own (i.e. anyone who would be affected by this statute, because they'd be dead)? Also, isn't this textbook capable of repetition, yet evading review?
I know a situation exactly like this will never come up on the bar, but questions that are so up for debate really bug me.
The dead guy not being able to sue isn't enough for 3d-P standing, you also need a "close relation" to the dead guy and
an Art. III injury all your own. That's Powers v. Ohio (also Craig v. Boren, kind of).
Capable of repetition, yet evading review goes to mootness
*, not standing. I.e., Roe had standing
in Roe v. Wade ('cause she was preggers and wanted an abortion); but capable of rep...etc. saved the case from getting mooted when she had the kid before the decision came down.
N.B., the really nice thing about MBE ConLaw questions is that they're almost all (not very subtle) copies of actual cases. Though I guess if you're not intimately familiar with SC cases, it's a really really not so nice thing...
*which is "standing set in a time frame," so obviously a completely different animal...