The Strangeness On Standing

Linda Hirshman thinks SCOTUS contradicted itself on the issue of standing:

Maybe Hollingsworth was an honest commitment to the niceties of federal standing. But denying the Prop 8 advocates standing while extending it to the Congressional Republicans in Windsor is a little awkward. The policy argument the Court articulated to grant standing in Windsor—that the Court did not want the president to usurp their role of deciding constitutional cases by refusing to defend a law and destroying standing—applies with equal force to the California government in Hollingsworth. The Court’s role in deciding the constitutionality of state laws is as great, and almost as old, as its role in federal cases. Yet the Court just turned over to the governor of California the ability to destroy its jurisdiction to decide the constitutionality of Prop 8.

The incoherence of the two standing opinions, taken together, makes it more likely Hollingsworth was simply a decision to duck for a little while longer: There are a bunch of other direct challenges in the pipeline that don’t involve a standing problem. But the language of Windsor foretells that when the court does poke its heads over the trench it will be to make the final charge toward victory.