AJC Supports Right to Challenge Executive Branch Spending on Religion
February 2, 2007 - New York - The American Jewish Committee today filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the right of taxpayers to challenge presidential spending that violates their religious liberties. The case, Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, will decide the scope of taxpayer ability to contest not only legislative but executive branch expenditures, such as the work of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
"The ability of taxpaying citizens to oppose any government violation of the Establishment Clause, whether bearing the stamp of congressional earmark or not, is essential to the protection of religious liberty," said Jeffrey Sinensky, AJC's general counsel. "The foundations of our democracy demand that all branches of government be subject to the constitutional scrutiny that safeguards the separation between church and state."
In the brief, filed with the American Jewish Congress, AJC asserts that to deny taxpayers the right to contest the administration's spending, "would mean that the executive branch enjoys immunity from judicial scrutiny that the legislature does not."
Ari M. Gordon Assistant Director Department of Interreligious Affairs American Jewish Committee 165 E56th St. New York, NY 10022 (212) 891-6768 (212) 751-4000 x266 www.ajc.org www.engagingamerica.org