the CPD's selection criteria for non-major party candidates to be a de facto exclusion of such candidates since only the Democratic or Republican candidate had a realistic chance of winning the November election. The CPD replied in a letter dated September 13, 1988, which stated that "the Commission has adopted a set of nonpartisan selection criteria" which include that the candidate have "a realistic chance of being elected." On or about September 15, 1988, Fulani supplied the CPD with further information that it had requested. On September 19, 1988, the CPD denied Fulani's request for inclusion in the presidential debates.
Fulani filed this matter on September 20, 1988 against Defendants Nicholas F. Brady, Secretary of the Treasury, and Lawrence B. Gibbs, Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service, seeking injunctive relief and damages; specifically, (i) an order requiring the Defendants to revoke the tax-exempt status of the CPD under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3); (ii) an order that the Defendants assess and collect taxes allegedly due from the CPD as a result of the revocation of its tax-exempt status; and (iii) an award to Plaintiffs of damages in the amount of $ 5,000,000.
Fulani also filed separate motions for temporary restraining orders or preliminary injunctions seeking either to enjoin the CPD-sponsored debates from going forward or an order from this Court compelling CPD to include Fulani in its debates. In this Court's September 23, 1988 Order, denying Fulani's motion for relief with respect to the September 25, 1988 debate, this Court ruled that Fulani had raised "serious questions . . . concerning the tax-exempt status of the defendants." However, this Court denied the motion because of the "public interest in allowing the presidential debates to go forward and in preserving an orderly political process."
In this Court's October 12, 1988 Order, denying Fulani's motion for relief with respect to the October 13, 1988 debate, this Court reiterated the seriousness of Fulani's claims that the CPD's partisanship made it ineligible for a tax exemption, but again declined to enjoin the debate because of the public interest.
The requirement of standing is premised on "Article III of the Constitution [which] confines the federal courts to adjudicating actual 'cases' and 'controversies.'" Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750, 82 L. Ed. 2d 556, 104 S. Ct. 3315 (1984). Standing is necessary to the jurisdiction of this Court to hear this matter. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498-99, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975) (whether a plaintiff "has made out a 'case or controversy' . . . within the meaning of Article III. . . is the threshold question in every federal case, determining the power of the court to entertain suit.").
The Supreme Court has developed a three-prong model by which to assess Article III standing. A Plaintiff must allege: (1) a "personal injury" that is (2) "fairly traceable to the defendant's allegedly unlawful conduct," and (3) which is "likely to be redressed by the requested relief." Allen, 468 U.S. at 751; see also Duke Power Co. v. Carolina Envtl. Study Group, Inc., 438 U.S. 59, 72, 57 L. Ed. 2d 595, 98 S. Ct. 2620 (1978); Dellums v. United States Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, 274 U.S.App.D.C. 279, 863 F.2d 968 (1988). The court should apply the three factors to the facts at hand with the following questions in mind: "Is the injury too abstract, or otherwise not appropriate, to be considered judicially cognizable? Is the line of causation between the illegal conduct and injury too attenuated? Is the prospect of obtaining relief from the injury as a result of a favorable ruling too speculative?" Allen, 468 U.S. at 752.
The burden of establishing standing is on the Plaintiff. More fully,
the Court must accept as true all material allegations of the complaint and construe it in favor of plaintiffs, and it may consider matters extrinsic to the complaint itself deemed supportive of plaintiffs' standing. [Citation omitted.] If however, the facts alleged do not permit a reasonable inference that defendants' putatively unlawful conduct caused the harm, or that if the relief requested is afforded the injury will be rectified, standing has not been shown, and the complaint must be dismissed.