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Shah v. Holder

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 21, 2014

VIVIK SHAH, Plaintiff,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on the plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis and pro se complaint. The application will be granted, and the complaint will be dismissed.

Generally, the plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. §§ 875 and 876, see Compl. ¶¶ 8-15, alleging that these provisions violate rights protected under the First and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, see Id . ¶ 17. Because the defendant is obligated to enforce these laws, see Id . ¶¶ 21-22, the plaintiff contends that he faces an imminent threat of prosecution "if and when [he] exercises his rights, " id. ¶ 23.

"Article III of the United States Constitution limits the judicial power to deciding 'Cases and Controversies.'" In re Navy Chaplaincy, 534 F.3d 756, 759 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting U.S. Const, art. III, § 2), cert, denied, 556 U.S. 1167 (2009). A party has standing for purposes of Article III if his claims "spring from an 'injury in fact' -- an invasion of a legally protected interest that is 'concrete and particularized, ' 'actual or imminent' and 'fairly traceable' to the challenged act of the defendant, and likely to be redressed by a favorable decision in the federal court." Navegar, Inc. v. United States, 103 F.3d 994, 998 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992)). Here, the plaintiff does not show that he has suffered any injury or that the defendant has taken any action to enforce the challenged statutes. Because the plaintiff alleges only a hypothetical or conjectural injury, see Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560, he does not satisfy the "injury-in-fact" requirement of standing, and the complaint therefore must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is issued separately.


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