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En Banc Roundtable

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc Roundtable. This feature, which began in autumn 2009, hosts debates among legal academics and practitioners, usually on notable cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, although other legal issues may also be addressed. These articles can be on anything related to the selected issue, such as the merits of a particular argument, the practical implications of a potential ruling, the propriety of certiorari in a case, or the implications of proposed regulatory path. Roundtable allow participants to voice their views in a scholarly forum as the law is being made at the highest level. Articles from the feature have twice been cited in Supreme Court opinions: in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, decided in 2010, and in Golan v. Holder, decided in 2012.

Roundtable: Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins

Our current Roundtable considers Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on November 2, 2015. In Spokeo, the Court will consider whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon plaintiffs who suffer no concrete injury by vesting them with a private right of action to enforce a statutory requirement. The case may have broad-reaching impacts upon standing doctrine because a decision for the petitioner would substantially restrict Congress’s ability to provide for enforcement of statutory rights when they are not accompanied by an “injury in fact.” At its heart, Spokeo is a separation-of-powers case focused on the tension between Congress’s legislative power to create rights and enforcement mechanisms and the Court’s power to define and enforce Article III’s standing requirements.

Professors Heather Elliott, Andrew Hessick, Jonathan Siegel, Maxwell Stearns, Joan Steinman, and Howard Wasserman have each considered the issue and offer their views on how the Court might—or should—approach this case in their essays below.