Justiciable Issue

Justiciable Issue in the United States

A question that is appropriate for resolution by judicial action. A justiciable issue is one that may properly come before a court for decision. Justiciability differs from jurisdiction in that the latter focuses on whether a court possesses the power to act. Justiciability presumes that the power to act exists, but it focuses on whether it is proper or reasonable to exercise that power. A court may have jurisdiction over a case, but it may find the question involved to be nonjusticiable.

See Also

Controversy (Civil Process) Jurisdiction (Civil Process) Standing (Civil Process).

Analysis and Relevance

Considerations of whether an issue is justiciable come in the form of real or bona fide cases as opposed to controversies raising abstract or hypothetical issues. A justiciable issue satisfies all requirements of standing, and it is not more appropriately resolved by the legislative or executive branches. Justiciability allows the courts to limit or expand the extent to which judicial power is exercised. It directly affects the functional relationships of the courts to the legislative and executive branches. To be justiciable, an issue must involve an actual controversy in which one party can show harm or injury. The justiciability requirements are used to define the boundaries of the judicial function. Justiciability is an outgrowth of the separa- tion-of-powers concept. Courts possess substantial discretion in determining whether an issue is justiciable, but will generally proceed with caution before taking action. Such an approach serves to heighten the impact of judicial actions in those cases where justiciability clearly exists.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Justiciable Issue from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Justiciable Issue: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Justiciable Issue. This part provides references, in relation to Justiciable Issue, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Justiciable Issue by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Justiciable Issue and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Justiciable Issue or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Justiciable Issue and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Justiciable Issue. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Justiciable Issue should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Justiciable Issue when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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