"The U.S. Constitution vests the judicial power in the Supreme Court and any inferior courts established by Congress, limiting the power of federal courts to the context of 'cases' or 'controversies.' Pursuant to constitutional and statutory requirements, courts may hear challenges to the actions of federal agencies in certain situations. This report offers a brief overview of important considerations when individuals bring a lawsuit in federal court to challenge agency actions, with a particular focus on the type of review authorized by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), perhaps the most prominent modern vehicle for challenging the actions of a federal agency. Whether judicial review of agency action is available in federal court turns on a number of factors. Courts must possess statutory jurisdiction to adjudicate a lawsuit, and plaintiffs must generally rely on a cause of action that allows a court to grant legal relief. Disputes must also present 'cases' or 'controversies' that satisfy the requirements of Article III of the Constitution. Finally, a suit must be presented to a court at the proper time for judicial review."
CRS Report for Congress, R44699
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html