Vanderbilt Law Review

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Administrative Law--Ripeness--Agency Head's Informal Opinion Letters Held Unripe for Review When No Substantial Hardship Placed on Parties

Cornelia H. Boozman

The basic premise of the ripeness doctrine is that judicial machinery should operate only on concrete problems that are present or imminent, not on problems that are abstract, hypothetical,or remote... The Supreme Court articulated a more definitive standard for determining ripeness in "Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner." Espousing what it considered to be the basic rationale of the ripeness doctrine, avoidance of premature adjudication of discretionary administrative policies, the Court established a procedure for evaluating the ripeness issue in challenges to administrative actions.


Civil Procedure--Res Judicata--Challenge of Racial Discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 Barred by Prior Submission of Civil Rights Question to State Court

R. Preston Bolt, Jr.

In Southern Pacific Railroad v. United States the Supreme Court stated that a "right, question, or fact" distinctly put in issue and directly determined by a court acting within its jurisdiction cannot be disputed in a subsequent suit between the same parties.'


Environmental Law--Standing to Sue--Alleged Violation of Private Party's Informational Interest in Environmental Impact Statement is Sufficient to Establish Standing to Enforce National Environmental Policy Act

Kenneth L. Stewart

In both Richardson and Warth the Supreme Court stated that generalized grievances shared by the public at large were not a sufficient injury in fact to establish standing." The policy underlying the injury in fact requirement is that generalized grievances do not assure that the plaintiff has sufficient interest in an issue to present it with the "concrete adverseness" required for judicial review. Adherence to this position may, at times, place particular issues outside the realm of judicial review, but, as the Supreme Court has correctly recognized, such issues are generally best suited for resolution by either political process or the legislative or executive branch of government.