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Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Docket No.: 06-157
Certiorari Granted: Dec 1 2006
Argued: February 28, 2007
Decided: June 25, 2007

Topics:

Article I, Commerce Clause, Establishment Clause, judicial review, separation of powers, Standing, stare decisis, Taxing and Spending, taxpayer standing, Union

PartyNames: Jay F. Hein, Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, et al. v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Jay F. Hein, Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, et al.
Respondent: Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Jay F. Hein, Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, et al.
v.
Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., et al.
551 U.S. 587 (2007)
Question Presented:

Whether taxpayers have standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge on Establishment Clause grounds the actions of Executive Branch officials pursuant to an Executive Order, where the plaintiffs challenge no Act of Congress, the Executive Branch actions at issue are financed only indirectly through general appropriations, and no funds are disbursed to any entities or individuals outside the government.

Question:

Do taxpayers have standing to bring an Establishment Clause challenge against Executive Branch actions funded by general appropriations rather than by any specific congressional grant?

Note:

EXPEDITED BRIEFING SCHEDULE.

Holding: judgment reversed
Vote: 5-4
Opinion By:
Read HEIN V. FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION, INC. opinion (PDF)
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