Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCPL) and other power companies (plaintiffs) supplied electric power in three states. These companies sued Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay and two federal administrative bodies (defendants) to prevent the federal government from funding or supporting competing federal power cooperatives in the three states. The plaintiffs claimed that the contracts between the federal administrative bodies and the federal power cooperatives violated two federal statutes. However, the only harm this caused to plaintiffs directly was having to compete with the federal power cooperatives if the cooperatives were allowed to move forward under the allegedly illegal contracts. The defendants moved to dismiss the suit, arguing that the plaintiffs were not parties to the allegedly illegal contracts and had no standing to sue about the contracts. Ultimately, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard the case.