not have a leg to stand on

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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 Unfortunately, the entire study that I based my research on has been retracted, so now my thesis paper doesn't have a leg to stand on.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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not have a leg to stand on

Fig. [for an argument or a case] to have no support. You may think you're in the right, but you don't have a leg to stand on. My lawyer said I didn't have a leg to stand on, so I shouldn't sue the company.
See also: have, leg, not, on, stand, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not have a leg to stand on

If someone does not have a leg to stand on, they are in a very weak position, because they cannot prove a claim or statement they have made. You'd never win. Our lawyers said you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. I haven't got a leg to stand on. I had no witnesses.
See also: have, leg, not, on, stand, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not have a leg to stand on

have no facts or sound reasons to support your argument or justify your actions.
See also: have, leg, not, on, stand, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

not have a ˌleg to ˈstand on

(informal) not be able to prove what you say: He claims he wasn’t there, but four people saw him, so he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
See also: have, leg, not, on, stand, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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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