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Monday, May 16, 2011

Fed Courts on TV?

Last night on AMC's The Killing, a character cites to and discusses Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm'n, the leading Supreme Court case on associational standing, in arguing that a midnight basketball program has standing to challenge the city's withdrawal of its funding (in the story, this is a political ploy by the incumbent mayor to get at his opponent, who is a big supporter of the program). I am not sure Hunt actually is relevant here, since the organization would be suing on its own behalf, not on behalf of its members. And it is presented as this obscure case that the protagonist finds only through careful legal research that gives him the idea for a lawsuit--as if he never thought of a lawsuit until he found this one case. Part of me thinks the writers threw it in there only because the show takes place in Seattle.

Later, we find out the judge rejected the standing argument and denied the request for an injunction. But only because the judge assigned to the case was the mayor's old fraternity brother, thus furthering television's meme that judges are corrupt and craven political actors who ignore the law and protect their political cronies.

Still, Art. III standing on basic cable. Who'da thunk?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 16, 2011 at 09:04 AM in Civil Procedure, Culture, Howard Wasserman, Television | Permalink


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I would also point out the presence on the Killing of "the Kovarsky mafia." those writers are awesome.

Posted by: kovarsky | May 16, 2011 1:33:53 PM

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