JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.
This suit was brought by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), and several of its members challenging the Secretary of Labor's interpretation of the eligibility provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, 88 Stat. 1978, 19 U. S. C.
To aid workers who have lost their jobs because of import competition, the Trade Act of 1974 established a program of trade readjustment allowance (TRA) benefits as a supplement to state unemployment insurance benefits. 19 U. S. C. § 2291. Under the Act's scheme, a group of workers, their union, or some other authorized representative may petition the Secretary of Labor to certify that their firm has been adversely affected by imports. §§ 2271-2273. If the Secretary issues a certificate of eligibility for such a group, workers within that group who meet certain standards of individual eligibility may then apply for and receive TRA benefits. These benefits are funded entirely by the Federal Government, as is the cost of administering the program.
While the Secretary of Labor cannot delegate his certification duties, the Act does permit him to contract out the job of making individual eligibility determinations to the state agencies that administer state unemployment insurance programs. The Secretary has in fact entered into such agreements with unemployment insurance agencies in each State and in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Pursuant to the agreements, each of these "cooperating Stat[e] agencies," § 2311(a), becomes an "agent of the United States," § 2313(a), charged with processing applications and using federal funds to pay TRA benefits to individuals eligible under the Act. Review of eligibility decisions by these agencies is to be "in the same manner and to the same extent as determinations under the applicable State law and only in that
To qualify for TRA benefits under the Act, a worker must have "had, in the 52 weeks immediately preceding . . . separation, at least 26 weeks of employment at wages of $30 or more a week in adversely affected employment with a single firm or subdivision of a firm." 19 U. S. C. § 2291(2) (1976 ed.). In a 1975 policy handbook, the Secretary advised the state agencies that they should not count toward these 26 weeks
These guidelines were superseded in August 1981 by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (OBRA), Pub. L. 97-35, 95 Stat. 357, which amended the Trade Act to provide that "leave for purposes of vacation, sickness, injury, maternity, or inactive duty or active duty military service for training" is to be included in determining an individual's period of employment with an adversely affected firm. 19 U. S. C. § 2291(a)(2)(A). The effect of this amendment, however, was limited to TRA benefits "payable for weeks of unemployment which begin after September 30, 1981." OBRA, § 2514(a)(2)(B), 95 Stat. 889, note following 19 U. S. C. § 2291.
Shortly after the passage of the OBRA, petitioners, the UAW and 11 of its members — some of whom had been denied benefits for weeks of employment before October 1, 1981, because of the interpretation of § 2291 in the 1975 handbook and
On cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court first rejected the Secretary's argument that § 2311(d), which makes entitlement determinations reviewable only "in the same manner and to the same extent as determinations under the applicable State law," precluded federal jurisdiction over the action. International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America v. Donovan, 568 F.Supp. 1047, 1050-1052 (DC 1983). It noted:
On the merits of the complaint, the court held that the 1975 guidelines were indeed inconsistent with the Trade Act and the Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972. It therefore ordered the Secretary to notify all cooperating state agencies of the Act's proper construction and to direct those agencies to process anew, applying the proper eligibility
Without reaching the merits, a divided panel of the Court of Appeals reversed. 241 U. S. App. D. C. 106, 746 F.2d 839 (1984). The court first noted that the UAW "is not an appropriate representative of those TRA claimants who were not its members," id., at 109, 746 F. 2d, at 842, and that, at this stage of the proceedings, it would be "impressible" to treat the suit as a class action on behalf of all disappointed claimants, id., at 108, 746 F. 2d, at 841. The court then held that the UAW could not even represent the interests of those claimants who were union members. It reasoned:
Turning to the six named plaintiffs who claimed to have been denied administrative awards of benefits because of an improper construction of § 2291, the court held that, even assuming that § 2311(d) did not preclude federal jurisdiction, "no relief could properly be awarded in this action" because plaintiffs had failed to join as party-defendants the cooperating state agencies that had denied their claims. Id., at 111, 746 F. 2d, at 844. Relying on the requirement of § 2311(d) "that review of determinations with respect to TRA benefits
We granted certiorari to consider the procedural issues raised by the Court of Appeals' decision, 474 U.S. 900 (1985). We now reverse.
The first question raised by the Court of Appeals' decision is a simple one: Does the UAW have standing to challenge the 1975 policy directive that allegedly resulted in the denial of TRA benefits to thousands of the Union's members? See Complaint ¶ 69. As the Court of Appeals properly noted, "the Union has alleged no injury to itself; nor are the members' associational rights affected," 241 U. S. App. D. C., at 109, 746 F. 2d, at 842. The inquiry here is thus whether the UAW may proceed solely as a representative of those of its members injured by the Secretary's policy.
It has long been settled that "[e]ven in the absence of injury to itself, an association may have standing solely as the representative of its members. E. g., National Motor Freight Assn. v. United States, 372 U.S. 246 (1963)." Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 511 (1975). While the "possibility of such representational standing . . . does not eliminate or attenuate the constitutional requirement of a case or controversy," ibid.; see Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972), we have found that, under certain circumstances, injury to an organization's members will satisfy Article III and allow that organization to litigate in federal court on their behalf. See Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights
Subsequently, this doctrine was stated as a three-part test:
The Court of Appeals here held that the UAW could not litigate its challenge to the Secretary's policy directive on behalf of its members because it found that the third of these conditions was not present in this case. Defending the court's decision, however, the Secretary argues that none of the three has been satisfied. We will consider each in turn.
Addressing the first part of the analysis in Hunt, the Secretary does not dispute petitioner's claim that a large number of UAW members were denied TRA benefits by their respective state agencies as a result of his Department's interpretation of § 2291(2) between 1975 and 1981. His argument is not
The reasons the Secretary gives for the preclusion of various UAW members differ, but the end result is the same. TRA claimants who were awarded benefits and whose cases were finally resolved in their favor on judicial review cannot challenge the Secretary's interpretation of the Trade Act because they were not injured by it. At the same time, claimants denied benefits in final state judicial decisions are barred by res judicata from raising any eligibility claim in federal court. As for workers, who, at the time the suit was brought, had claims pending in state court after either favorable or unfavorable administrative determinations, the Secretary argues that it would "be contrary to Congress's incorporation of the state system into the administration of the Trade Act, and an affront to the integrity and authority of the state courts, to allow claimants whose cases were under state judicial review to pretermit that process by proceeding in federal court." Brief for Respondent 16. Workers with claims still pending in state administrative proceedings cannot complain, according to the Secretary, because they have yet to suffer any cognizable injury and may not circumvent state processes. And workers who failed to seek judicial review of adverse administrative determinations should also be barred from coming to federal court because their inaction has allowed those determinations to become final.
At bottom, the Secretary's invocation of administrative exhaustion principles is merely a variant of his argument that § 2311(d) irrevocably commits to state processes all claims relating to TRA entitlements. Citing this Court's recent decision in Green v. Mansour, 474 U.S. 64 (1985), he argues that "this suit, like Green, is an impermissible attempt to gain a federal judicial ruling to serve as the predicate for a state claim that could not be brought directly in federal court." Brief for Respondent 21. In Green, this Court held that when the Eleventh Amendment bars a federal court from directly ordering a State to pay damages for a past constitutional violation, the court cannot enter a declaratory judgment that plaintiffs might use as res judicata in state-court damages actions. The Eleventh Amendment bar that precluded equitable relief in Green, however, has little in common with 19 U. S. C. § 2311(d). The Trade Act provision does not foreclose review in federal court of every claim
As we find § 2311(d) to pose no bar to petitioners' claims, we see no jurisdictional impediment to this suit in federal
Having found that at least some members of the UAW would have had standing to bring this suit in their own right, we need pause only briefly to consider whether the second of Hunt's preconditions for associational standing has been satisfied here. For there is little question that the interests that the UAW seeks to protect in this suit are "germane to the organization's purpose," Hunt, 432 U. S., at 343. The UAW's Constitution announces that one of the Union's goals is "to work for legislation on a national scale, having as its object the establishment of real social and unemployment insurance, the expense of which is to be borne by the employer and the Government." Constitution of the International Union, UAW, Art. 2, § 4 (quoted in Brief for Petitioners 14-15). In pursuit of that goal, the leadership of the UAW, along with other representatives of organized labor, lobbied hard for the establishment of the TRA benefit program. See, e. g., Trade Reform Act of 1973: Hearings on H. R. 6767 before the House Committee on Ways and Means, 93d Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 3, pp. 849-914 (1973) (testimony of Leonard Woodcock, President of the UAW).
Recognizing the interest of organized labor in obtaining benefits for its workers, Congress gave unions a role in the administration of the TRA program, allowing them to petition the Secretary to certify that particular firms have been adversely affected by imports. 19 U. S. C. §§ 2271-2273. Once the issuance of such a certification permits individual union members to file for TRA benefits, a union like the UAW — whose members, we are told, have constituted over 40% of the workers certified as eligible to apply for TRA
Relying on our decision in Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490 (1975), the Court of Appeals concluded that the UAW had failed to satisfy the last of the preconditions for associational standing set out in Hunt. In Warth, we noted that even where the members of an association have suffered the sort of injury that might otherwise support a suit by the association, "whether an association has standing to invoke the court's remedial powers on behalf of its members depends in substantial measure on the nature of the relief sought." 422 U. S., at 515. An organization of construction firms, we held, could not seek damages for the profits and business lost by its members because "whatever injury might have been suffered is peculiar to the individual member concerned, and both the fact and extent of injury would require individualized proof." Id., at 515-516. Each member therefore had to be a party to the suit, and the association lacked standing to proceed on his behalf. Likening the instant case to Warth, the Court of Appeals noted that because those UAW members "who had suffered an alleged injury had done so in varying amounts requiring individualized proof," the relief sought here could not be obtained unless "each individual claimant was a party plaintiff." 241 U. S. App. D. C., at 109, 746 F. 2d, at 842.
Like the Secretary in his arguments before this Court, the Court of Appeals misconstrued the nature of petitioners' claims. Neither these claims nor the relief sought required the District Court to consider the individual circumstances of any aggrieved UAW member. The suit raises a pure question of law: whether the Secretary properly interpreted the Trade Act's TRA eligibility provisions. Cf. Schweiker v. Gray Panthers, 453 U.S. 34, 40, n. 8 (1981). And the relief
As an alternative basis for affirming the Court of Appeals, the Secretary asks that we reconsider and reject the principles of associational standing set out in Hunt. He suggests that "at least absent a showing of particularized need," members of an association who wish to litigate common questions of law or fact against the same defendant be permitted to proceed only pursuant to the class-action provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Brief for Respondent 34.
Both associational standing and Rule 23 are "designed to serve precisely the same purpose," according to the Secretary: "to facilitate, in a fair and efficient manner, the collective adjudication of the common rights of an association's members." Id., at 37. Rule 23, however, contains special
The Secretary's presentation, however, fails to recognize the special features, advantageous both to the individuals represented and to the judicial system as a whole, that distinguish suits by associations on behalf of their members from class actions. While a class action creates an ad hoc union of injured plaintiffs who may be linked only by their common claims, an association suing to vindicate the interests of its members can draw upon a pre-existing reservoir of expertise and capital. "Besides financial resources, organizations often have specialized expertise and research resources relating to the subject matter of the lawsuit that individual plaintiffs lack." Note, From Net to Sword: Organizational Representatives Litigating Their Members' Claims, 1974 U. Ill. L. Forum 663, 669. These resources can assist both courts and plaintiffs. As one court observed of an association's role in pending litigation: "[T]he interest and expertise of this plaintiff, when exerted on behalf of its directly affected members, assure `that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult . . . questions.' " Harlem Valley Transportation Assn. v. Stafford, 360 F.Supp. 1057, 1065 (SDNY 1973), quoting Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204 (1962).
We are not prepared to dismiss out of hand the Secretary's concern that associations allowed to proceed under Hunt will not always be able to represent adequately the interest of all their injured members. Should an association be deficient in this regard, a judgment won against it might not preclude subsequent claims by the association's members without offending due process principles. And were we presented with evidence that such a problem existed either here or in cases of this type, we would have to consider how it might be alleviated. However, the Secretary has given us absolutely no reason to doubt the ability of the UAW to proceed here on behalf of its aggrieved members, and his presentation has fallen far short of meeting the heavy burden of persuading us to abandon settled principles of associational standing. See Vasquez v. Hillery, 474 U.S. 254, 265-266 (1986). We therefore reaffirm the principles we set out in Hunt, and hold that the UAW has standing to litigate this action.
Our conclusion that the UAW has standing would be of little consequence if we agreed with the Court of Appeals
In part, the Court of Appeals' decision was based upon its reading 19 U. S. C. § 2311(d) to require that the state procedural rules applicable to the review of individual entitlement determinations be applied in this case. Since, under state law, review of an individual TRA claimant's eligibility determination cannot be had without the joinder of the state agency that made that determination, the Court of Appeals reasoned that a plaintiff could not pursue the claims raised here unless he joined as defendant the state agency whose reliance on the 1975 handbook had allegedly denied him TRA benefits. As should be clear from the foregoing discussion of the standing issue, however, the court's application of § 2311(d) was founded on a mischaracterization of this lawsuit. This action is not an appeal from an adverse benefit determination, removed to federal court. It is a challenge to the federal guidelines that required those determinations. And just as § 2311(d) cannot be read to bar federal jurisdiction over a challenge to the Secretary's statutory interpretation, so § 2311(d) does not demand that the state rules governing review of agency entitlement decisions bind the federal court entertaining that challenge.
The second basis of the Court of Appeals' decision was its concern that without the joinder of every state agency whose cooperation was needed to effect the relief granted by the District Court against the Secretary, such relief might "be a futile thing except to the extent that voluntary compliance
Regulations promulgated by the Secretary provide that "[i]n making determinations, redeterminations, and in connection with proceedings for review thereof," a cooperating state agency "shall be an agent of the United States and shall carry out fully the purpose stated in § 91.2." 29 CFR § 91.51(d) (1985). Among the goals set out in § 91.2 of those regulations is "to implement the provisions of the Act uniformly and effectively throughout the United States." State agencies that have entered into agreements with the Secretary would thus be bound to comply with the relief ordered here. Were a state agency to balk at engaging in the reprocessing the Secretary would order pursuant to the court's injunction, it could be found in breach of its agreement. 29 CFR § 91.63(e) (1985). Such a finding would cause employers in that agency's State to lose certain tax credits against their liability for the Federal Unemployment Tax. 26 U. S. C. § 3302(c)(3). In any event, since state agencies are fully reimbursed by the Federal Government for the TRA benefits they pay and for the administrative costs of processing those payments, it seems unlikely that a directive from the Secretary would meet any resistance from his agents.
Under these circumstances, we do not believe that the state agencies should be considered "indispensable parties" within the meaning of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(b), whose absence from this action rendered the District Court unable to grant in full the relief sought by petitioners. Furthermore,
We hold that the UAW has standing to proceed in this case, and that petitioners' failure to join the various cooperating state agencies poses no obstacle to the suit. It remains for the Court of Appeals to consider the merits of the District Court's decision and any procedural issues properly preserved and raised.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded to that court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
JUSTICE WHITE, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE REHNQUIST join, dissenting.
I disagree with the Court's conclusion that the District Court properly exercised jurisdiction over this case.
Section 239(d) of the Trade Act of 1974, 19 U. S. C. § 2311(d), provides that "[a] determination by a cooperating State agency with respect to entitlement to program benefits. . . is subject to review in the same manner and to the same extent as determinations under the applicable State law [regarding unemployment compensation benefits] and only in that manner and to that extent." The legislative history explains that "[t]he bill would have the effect of channeling all questions arising from determinations by State agencies through the normal State review procedure." S. Rep. No. 93-1298, p. 139 (1974). Congress thus expressed the intent that once a claim for trade readjustment allowance (TRA) benefits is submitted to a cooperating state agency, the agency and state courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction
The Court treats § 239(d) as inapplicable to the present case on the ground that petitioners have not requested federal-court review of any particular benefit determination under the relevant federal guideline, but instead challenge the guideline itself. Ante, at 285. The distinction between a challenge to the guideline and a challenge to benefit determinations might be meaningful if petitioners had only challenged the application of the guideline to as-yet-unsubmitted claims, but that is not this case. At the time the District Court entered its judgment, the guideline at issue had been superseded for nearly 22 months, and the only live controversy related to the cooperating state agencies' applications of the guideline to already-submitted claims.
In explaining its holding that § 239(d) does not apply to this case, the Court states that "although review of individual eligibility determinations in certain benefit programs may be confined by state and federal law to state administrative and judicial processes, claims that a program is being operated in contravention of a federal statute or the Constitution can nonetheless be brought in federal court." Ibid. If the Court means that this case could have been brought even if the underlying benefit claims were state unemployment compensation claims, I disagree. In such a case, petitioners'
The Court today holds that petitioner UAW has standing to proceed in a suit challenging the Secretary of Labor's interpretation of the eligibility provisions of the Trade Act, codified at 19 U. S. C. § 2291, because those members of the UAW who have claims pending before a state administrative agency would have standing to bring a similar suit. The record, however, provides no information as to how many members of the UAW fall within this potential class. There is the danger that ultimately the number of members that the UAW can represent will be quite small. The Union may therefore lack the incentive to provide the adequate representation needed by the courts.
It is well settled that an association can represent its members' interest in a third-party action when an association has alleged a related injury. E. g., Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490 (1975). Moreover, in appropriate circumstances this Court has conferred standing upon an association whose members have suffered an alleged injury, even though the organization itself has not suffered an injury. In Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm'n, 432 U.S. 333 (1977), the Court stated:
It is undisputed that achieving unemployment benefits under the program of trade readjustment allowance is "germane" to the UAW's purpose in the sense that one of its goals is to secure such benefits for its workers. I do not believe, however, that a determination of "germane" in this formalistic
A consistent concern of our standing cases has been the adequacy of representation of the organization purportedly acting on behalf of the injured parties, especially when the organization itself has not suffered injury. This Court has repeatedly expressed its reluctance to confer standing on third parties for fear of inadequate representation. "The courts depend on effective advocacy, and therefore should prefer to construe legal rights only when the most effective advocates of those rights are before them." Singleton v. Wulff, 428 U.S. 106, 114 (1976) (opinion of BLACKMUN, J.). See, e. g., Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204 (1962) (standing requirement aimed at "assur[ing] that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends"); Holden v. Hardy, 169 U.S. 366, 397 (1898) (assertion of third parties' rights would come with "greater cogency" from the third parties themselves).
Since the concept of organizational representation is based on a theoretical identity between the organization and its members, the organization's interest in the outcome is based on the members' stake in the outcome. The number of members in the organization with a concrete stake in the outcome, however, may be so small that this theoretical identity disappears. It may develop in this case, in fact, that the great majority of members in the Union have little or no interest in the litigation. Moreover, a union may have reasons for instituting a suit — such as the publicity that attends a major case — other than to assert rights of its members. In such a case, the "concrete adverseness" required throughout a litigation by our cases may be absent.