without a leg to stand on

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, without

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, without