When Congress passed the FCRA in 1970, it was responding to a growing need to regulate a rapidly growing credit reporting industry. It recognized that credit reports had real world effects on everyday Americans and that false information on a credit report could have a devastating impact on an individual’s ability to get a job or secure a loan. Thus, the FCRA created an individual statutory right to an accurate credit report free of errors, and a right to sue companies that violated that right.

In other words, Congress did what legislatures are supposed to do: it saw a problem (individuals unable to hold credit reporting companies accountable for mistakes) and created a solution (a statute that created an individual right to accurate credit reports, grounded in the harm that results from error-ridden reports). Listen as Justice Kagan explains this to Spokeo’s attorney, Pincus, and why violating Robins’ rights under the FCRA satisfies the injury requirement under the standing doctrine.