Divided We Fall: Associational Standing and Collective Interest

This Note asserts that associations merit standing when they seek to litigate collective interests they reasonably claim as theirs. Part I of this Note examines the state of judicial doctrine on associational standing, and illustrates how current doctrine hampers associations by refusing to recognize, and thus protect, interests that fit naturally with those the Supreme Court has regarded as associational. Part II reworks the concept of associational standing by formalizing collective interest and arguing for the association as the appropriate legal representative of such interest. Finally, Part III addresses the separation of powers concerns raised by a reworked concept of associational standing, and concludes that the suggested concept contributes to the uniqueness of the judiciary’s role rather than encroaching on the legislature’s domain.