Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation

United States Supreme Court

127 S. Ct. 2553 (2007)

Federal taxpayers do not have standing to challenge general executive branch expenditures that fund religious programs solely on their status as taxpayers.

Relevant Facts

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (the plaintiffs) brought suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against Hein and other federal officials (the defendants) that were responsible for administering President George W. Bush’s Faith-Based and Community Initiatives program. The plaintiffs challenged the program as taxpayers on the basis that the program inappropriately used taxpayer money to support faith-based programs and that speeches made by President Bush contained impermissible “religious imagery.”

The district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of standing. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the program constituted an inappropriate use of federal money in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 20, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

127 S. Ct. 2553 (2007)