Ripe Law and Legal Definition

Ripe, in the legal context, means that a case is ready to be litigated before the Supreme Court for consideration because all other avenues for determining the case have been exhausted, there is a real controversy and the law needs to be settled on one or more issues raised by the case.

In order for a case to be ripe to litigate in court, the challenged law or government action must have produced a direct threat. If suit is brought on the anticipated actions resulting from a law not yet enacted, the case is not ripe for consideration. Federal courts only have constitutional authority to resolve actual disputes, not hypothetical ones.