Debra L. Lowman


This Article calls upon the Supreme Court to stay the Judiciary's hand in taxpayer grievances concerning purely executive action. Parts II and III of the Article provide the relevant background material for an understanding of the subject matter. Specifically, Part I recounts the evolution of taxpayer standing, taking the reader from the Supreme Court's decision in Frothingham to its counterpoint decision in Flast. Part III summarizes the Seventh Circuit's unprecedented decision in Freedom. Part IV demonstrates that taxpayer standing as conceived by the Freedom court does not conform to the standing paradigm formulated in Flast, and moreover, directly conflicts with the holdings of seminal post-Flast Supreme Court cases. Parts V and VI posit that even assuming arguendo that Freedom does not directly conflict with Supreme Court precedent, the decision should not be affirmed for two other reasons. First, as discussed in Part V, the Freedom court's conception of taxpayer standing should not be sustained because there is no logical nexus between taxpayer status and a claim challenging executive action that violates the Establishment Clause. Second, as discussed in Part VI, the Freedom court's expansion of taxpayer standing cannot be reconciled with modem standing doctrine and the requirement of a concrete injury. Part VII proposes that through general oversight authority and the power of the purse, the Legislative Branch is more competent to address and remedy taxpayer grievances challenging executive spending abuses. In the concluding remarks, the Article provides the Supreme Court with a roadmap to follow in charting its course through the doctrinal crossroads paved by the Freedom court.