The doctrine of standing has deep roots in our legal history, and it serves an important function. It is a needed guard against judicial activism. It prevents judges from reaching out, from issuing merely "advisory" opinions, and from using a straw plaintiff as a vehicle to get their fingers on an issue. But standing has become a tool of corruption.
Collusion is a serious problem in the federal courts. It most frequently occurs in class action and civil rights cases, most especially disparate impact race cases. I have seen more than one disparate impact case "thrown" by compliant lawyers doing the bidding of corrupt politicians. Those court judgments have no integrity and no legitimacy. This phenomenon has infected gay rights litigation. The practice of throwing a defense for political reasons makes a mockery of the judicial system.
It also corrupts lawyers, turning them into consiglieri, in contravention of everything we were led to believe in law school about what it means to be a lawyer. And it disgusts me.
Karen Lee Torre, a New Haven trial lawyer, litigates civil rights cases in the federal courts. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.