leg to stand on, doesn't have a/not a/without a

not a leg to stand on

No evidence, support, or justification for one's position, argument, or actions. Unfortunately, the entire study was just retracted by the medical journal, and now my thesis has not a leg to stand on. It's clear the prosecution doesn't have any valid evidence. Speculation is not a leg to stand on in a criminal trial!
See also: leg, not, on, stand, to

not have a leg to stand on

To have no evidence, support, or justification for one's argument or actions. Unfortunately, the entire study that I based my research on has been retracted, so now my thesis paper doesn't have a leg to stand on. The truth is that the prosecution hasn't got a leg to stand on now that their key witness has been discredited in court. The senator's company avoided paying millions in taxes over the years, so she doesn't have a leg to stand on when she criticizes tax dodgers.
See also: have, leg, not, on, stand, to

without a leg to stand on

Having no evidence, support, or justification for one's position, argument, or actions. Unfortunately the entire study was just retracted by the medical journal, and now my thesis is left without a leg to stand on. Without a leg to stand on following his opponent's thorough debunking of his claims, the candidate resorted to name-calling and empty rhetoric for the remainder of the debate. I know I'm without a leg to stand on here, given what I've done in the past, but it still upsets me what happened!
See also: leg, on, stand, to, without
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

without a leg to stand on

With no chance of success, as in He tried to get the town to change the street lights, but because there was no money in the budget he found himself without a leg to stand on . A related idiom is not have a leg to stand on, as in Once the detective exposed his false alibi, he didn't have a leg to stand on. This metaphoric idiom transfers lack of physical support to arguments or theories. [Late 1500s]
See also: leg, on, stand, to, without
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

leg to stand on, doesn't have a/not a/without a

To have no chance of success. This metaphor, which dates from the sixteenth century, applies the lack of physical support to an argument or hypothesis. The Elizabethan satirist Thomas Nashe (The Unfortunate Traveller, 1594) stated, “Faine he would have pacht out a polt-foot tale, but (God knows) it had not one true leg to stand on.”
See also: have, leg, not, stand, to, without
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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