Cudd, Kermit G.; Lynn Jr., Arthur D.
September 1968
National Tax Journal;Sep68, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p358
Academic Journal
This article discusses the effect of the Flast versus Cohen case upon the scope of and the basis for federal taxpayer's suits. The Flast case was brought by Florence Flast and six other persons as residents of New York in the U.S. District Court to enjoin the allegedly unconstitutional expenditure of federal funds under Titles I and II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The government moved to dismiss the theory that plaintiffs lacked standing to maintain the action. After disposing preliminary matters, the majority opinion in the case turns to the question of standing and the Frothingham barrier noting commentator controversy over whether that decision should be considered a constitutional barrier to taxpayer suits or a rule of judicial self-restraint based upon policy considerations rather than constitutional requirements. Taxpayers' suits appear to be a rather blunt device for testing the merits of public sector decision-making in sensitive areas such as defense and foreign affairs.


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