The Supreme Court did a bunch of crap yesterday, and I'll probably be blogging about a number of its orders and decisions severally over the course of the next few days. Then again, I might not.
I did want to point out that the Court reaffirmed its broad skepticism toward "citizen standing" in DaimlerChrysler v. Cuno. The underlying issue was whether state tax subsidies to an auto manufacturer violated the Commerce Clause, but the Court unanimously punted the case on standing grounds, holding that the plaintiffs couldn't challenge the tax breaks simply because they paid taxes too. In other words, you can't sue the government just because you don't like what it's doing with your taxes. At least not in Federal Court (because of that whole Article III "case" or "controversy" requirement).
The Court has often used the standing requirement to duck issues that it didn't want to get involved with. Although this practice has become less necessary since the Certiorari Act (which made the vast majority of Supreme Court appeals discretionary rather than mandatory), it still happens every now and then. The Newdow Pledge of Allegiance case was dismissed on (questionable, some might say) standing grounds. Here, the Court may not want to get its hands dirty on the subject of corporate tax subsidies. Although Chief Justice Roberts does sing, or at least mumble, the praises of tax subsidies in his discussion of whether the plaintiffs had alleged an injury at all.
Another thing that struck me is that the Court once again limited the Flast v. Cohen decision to its facts. In Flast, the Court held that taxpayer standing existed within the context of certain Establishment Clause challenges (the facts, I believe, involved a Congressional grant of property to a religious group). Roberts did a big song and dance to distinguish the Flast holding from the current case, since the Court still doesn't have the balls to admit that Flast is an outlying case that isn't really consistent with the Court's overall standing jurisprudence.
There are my thoughts. I probably got a few things wrong, but I may have done that intentionally just to see if Steve still reads this blog.