A plaintiff lacks standing to sue under Article III of the Constitution if it fails to demonstrate actual injury to its interests which is traceable to the defendant and which may be redressed through the requested relief. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 95 S. Ct. 2197, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343 (1975); Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 U.S. 59, 98 S. Ct. 2620, 57 L. Ed. 2d 595 (1978). For standing purposes, it is insufficient for a plaintiff to assert a generalized injury or grievance shared by the public generally. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. at 499, 95 S. Ct. at 2205; Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 740, 92 S. Ct. 1361, 1368, 31 L. Ed. 2d 636 (1972). Any such injury asserted by a plaintiff must constitute a specific personal injury directly to that party in order to confer standing.
Plaintiff claims both a general and "specific" interest: that it is "a voluntary group of Americans and others having a common interest in helping Namibia achieve independence free from external domination or control by [SWAPO]" (see Amended Complaint at para. 2, July 22, 1982), and that it has incurred "a direct injury to the committee member's [sic] right to know the information required to be disclosed by SWAPO" pursuant to FARA (Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss at 1, September 23, 1982). Neither of plaintiff's articulated interests distinguishes it from the general public.
It is not within the particular zone of interests protected by FARA. Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S. Ct. 827, 25 L. Ed. 2d 184 (1970).
Coupled with the requirement that a plaintiff demonstrate a personal stake in the outcome is the additional standing requirement that the plaintiff show a direct connection between the injury and the alleged conduct. Thus the plaintiff must show "a 'substantial likelihood' that the relief requested will redress the injury claimed. . . ." Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Environmental Study Group, 438 U.S. at 75 n. 20, 98 S. Ct. at 2631 n. 20. Here the plaintiff seeks relief enjoining SWAPO from acting as a foreign agent, yet it is not clear that plaintiff has a right to such relief or that it would indeed remedy the alleged injury. To allow this case to proceed would contravene the critical Article III standing prerequisite that the case present an actual case or controversy. Id.3 It should also be noted that FARA specifically provides for enforcement of its provisions and assigns that task to the Department of Justice. 22 U.S.C. § 618.
Even if plaintiff could satisfy the Article III requirements, it has failed to advance any more than a superficial showing that it is impliedly authorized by statute to maintain this action. Where, as plaintiff concedes in this case, a party cannot point to express statutory authority to pursue a claim, courts have recognized the existence of an implied private right of action in limited circumstances. J.I. Case v. Borak, 377 U.S. 426, 84 S. Ct. 1555, 12 L. Ed. 2d 423 (1964).
The Supreme Court has noted four criteria to be considered in assessing whether an implied private right of action exists:
First, is the plaintiff "one of the class for whose especial benefit the statute was enacted," . . . that is, does the statute create a federal right in favor of the plaintiff? Second, is there any indication of legislative intent, explicit or implicit, either to create such a remedy or to deny one? . . . Third, is it consistent with the underlying purposes of the legislative scheme to imply such a remedy for the plaintiff? . . . And finally, is the cause of action one traditionally relegated to state law, in an area basically the concern of the States . . .?