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RICO — standing

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit


RICO — standing

A casino has standing to sue the owners of a horse racing track for bribing government officials.

“Here, the general limitation on taxpayer standing found in Article III does not apply. The Casinos do not ‘challenge laws of general application where their own injur[ies] [are] not distinct from that suffered in general by other taxpayers or citizens.’ See Hein v. Freedom from Religion Found., Inc., 551 U.S. 587, 598 (2007), quoting ASARCO, Inc. v. Kadish, 490 U.S. 605, 613 (1989) (Kennedy, J.). The ’08 Act taxed only five entities in the entire state. Other taxpayers and citizens were unaffected. Moreover, the Casinos are not challenging the tax itself in this litigation, having lost earlier efforts pursuing that theory. Rather, they seek damages from a private party for an alleged conspiracy to use the power of state government to take money from them. Their injury is easily measured, and it is directly traceable to the Racetracks’ alleged conduct (bribing the governor to sign the ’08 Act) and remediable by this court. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560–61 (1992). They thus face no standing barrier to their lawsuit under Article III.”

Reversed and Remanded.

13-2972 Empress Casino Joliet Corp. v. Johnston

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kennelly, J., Wood, J.

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