In the case of Office of Communications, United Church of Christ v. Federal Communications Commission
(359 D.2d 994 (1966)), a church run television station was attempting to get
their FCC license renewed. A number of community members opposed the renewal
because the tv station was broadcasting a lot of racist propaganda. Initially,
FCC would not allow them to participate in the license renewal process because
FCC only allowed those who suffered interference of some monetary injury to
have standing to join the proceeding.
The Appellate Court found that
while standing in Federal Court is
limited by Article III of
the Constitution, an Administrative proceeding is not a court, and
therefore is not bound by the same strict rules.
The Court found that anyone
affected by the Agency's decision should have standing to join the Administrative proceeding.
Since the purpose of an
Administrative Agency is to function on behalf of the public interest,
participation in hearings should be as broad as possible so that the
Agency can best ascertain what the public interest is.
Note that this decision
doesn't mean that anyone can join
the proceeding, they must have some linkage to the outcome before being granted standing.
After this case was decided, the Administrative Conference
of the United States suggested the following factors in determining if someone
has standing to intervene in an Agency
The nature of the contested issues
The intervenor's precise
interest in the adjudication
The adequacy of representation
of existing parties
The ability of the prospective
intervenor to present new or additional information
The effect of intervention on
the Agency's implementation of its statutory mandate