Thursday, August 06, 2009

Taxpayer Status

This is an interesting case, the issue of the actual case is fairly humdrum, a muslim charter school funded with taxpayer is in violation of the establishment clause. The interesting part is the fact that it's usually not possible to sue the government for spending your money in an unconstitutional manner. There is a loophole allowing lawsuits for violations of the establishment clause but only if the money was directly allocated by the Legislative branch. So if the president or you governor spend your money illegally there isn't shit you can do about it. That seems reasonable.... or not. I'm assuming that the theory is that if these lawsuits were permitted then people would be suing every time their money was spent on something they didn't like. I can just picture the teabaggers trying to sue of their money being used to save lives. So I'm kinda torn on this, I think it's terrible that an individual is barred from suing the government for breaking the highest law in our land. Thats fucked. But I can understand how big of a pain in the ass that would be. Then again if the government didn't break the law their would be no lawsuits. If they do break the law they need to be held accountable and thats the point of the judiciary branch, ya know the whole checks and balances thing. But the judiciary can't just strike down an illegal law, someone must bring the case, if were aren't allowed to start the case then how can the judiciary do their job? I guess I'm not as torn about this as I thought I was.

And the fact that the loophole only applies to the legislative branch and not the executive seems particularly odd to me. Why should the executive branch get a free pass to spend my money illegally? The article sites the Hein case where the Freedom from Religion Foundation sued the white house over things related to the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, but seeing as the White House spent it's own General Funds (which are still our dollars) and wasn't appropriated by Congress the FFRF couldn't sue. WTF? How does that make sense in any way? Grrr... That seems like the most egregious violation of the Establishment Clause which they didn't claim was legal, the simply said there is nothing you can do about it. Fuck that shit.

Illegal is illegal, no one is above the law. At least thats the theory...

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