The article is divided into three major sections. Section I traces the development of a separate doctrine of “congressional standing.” It examines the doctrine's development from the Supreme Court's initial consideration of legislative standing through the current opinions of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Section II then analyzes three possible theories of congressional injury and standing. Derivative, representative, and third-party standing theories are all rejected as a basis for congressional standing. While rejecting the suggestion that congressmen possess a personal interest in “their” votes sufficient to constitute the “distinct and palpable injury” required for article III standing purposes, the article finds that truly direct injury to an individual Member of Congress is a proper predicate for congressional standing. Section III next considers the circumstances under which the Congress, as an institution, might possess standing and concludes that suits initiated by Congress would not suffer from the same deficiencies as do suits brought by its individual Members. Accordingly, this section of the article concludes that, in appropriate circumstances, the courts should recognize the standing of the Congress to sue the Executive.
R. Lawrence Dessem, Congressional Standing to Sue: Whose Vote Is This, Anyway?, 62 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1 (1986)