The Taxing Law of Taxpayer Standing
Georgia State University College of Law
Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-05
Tulsa Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2008
This article, "The Taxing Law of Taxpayer Standing," is a comprehensive exploration of the issues raised by the Supreme Court case Hein v. Freedom from Religion, et al, 551 U.S. __ (2007). The Court in Hein denied standing to federal taxpayers challenging President Bush's faith-based initiative program. This decision makes it virtually impossible for plaintiffs to challenge Executive Branch actions that allegedly violate the Establishment Clause unless Congress specifically authorized the expenditure at issue. If the President, for example, placed a permanent cross in the White House without using funds earmarked by Congress, it is unlikely anyone would have standing to challenge that decision. Hein also reaffirms the seminal taxpayer standing case, Flast v. Cohen, which has been repeatedly criticized by scholars and Supreme Court Justices. This piece details the history of the taxpayer standing question, fully discusses the Hein decision, and suggests an alternative approach to this vexing jurisdictional question.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: taxpayer standing, establishment clause, tax, jurisdiction
JEL Classification: K10, K34, K30
Date posted: September 26, 2008 ; Last revised: October 3, 2008
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