On November 2, 2015 the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Spokeo v. Robins. Spokeo, a “people search engine,” published inaccurate information about Thomas Robins, who sought to file a class action lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A district court found that Robins lacked standing to bring suit, since the incorrect biographical information published by Spokeo had not caused a concrete harm. In a case that could have potentially far-reaching implications for environmental, civil rights, and other class-action litigation, the Court will decide whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.
- Cory L. Andrews, Senior Litigation Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation