Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cert. Granted On Taxpayer Standing To Challenge White House Faith-Based Office

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, No. 06-157. (See prior posting on filing of petition for cert. [Updated:] Here is the Brief in Opposition [Westlaw link] and the Solicitor General's reply brief to the petition.) The case involves the question of whether taxpayers have standing under the Establishment Clause to challenge activities of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that there is taxpayer standing to challenge Executive Branch spending for organizing national and regional conferences and for making speeches promoting faith-based funding, even though these activities were paid for from a general appropriation without Congressional earmarking of the funds for a specific program. (See prior posting.) Yesterday's Washington Post reported on the Supreme Court's action. [Thanks to Aaron Stemplewicz & to Marty Lederman via Religionlaw, for the cert. petition and reply brief links.]