Monday, January 26, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that you cannot establish standing to sue the federal government based on the fact that you are a taxpayer? Even though the government is funded by your money, that alone does not establish the requisite threshold for a court to entertain your claim (unless it is an Establishment Clause challenge ... and that's a discussion for another day). 

Last week I posted a communication about what President Bush accomplished during his eight year tenure as our President, so I thought it would be interesting to consider what recently-elected Obama has ordered and accomplished in his first week of office. 

Last Friday Obama struck down a rule that prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counseling and, or, referrals about abortion services. (Read more about that here). So, even though you are a tax-paying citizen, despite the funding of abortions being against your conscience, you have no legal standing to officially request the government to stop spending money on abortions. Similarly, prior to Obama's order, if you were opposed to the Federal government's ban on funding of abortions, you had no legal standing to sue the government on the basis of being a tax-payer alone.

In an Executive Order Obama issued this past week closing Guantanamo Bay, he used "international concern" as a basis for decision-making. Historically, that's not been an authoritative basis and is one Supreme Court Justice Scalia (and me) has a beef with. However, Obama does desire a "legal bases" for detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo. That sounds great .... and most people will be sufficed with that "desire." However, his admission in the Executive Order that discovery of "how" prosecution can take place is telling. The procedural aspect of prosecuting enemy combatants has been the hang-up since Day 1 of Guantanano .... and I suspect it still will be .... despite anyone's "desire." However, I wish our new President and his Attorney General all the best with carrying out the Executive Order as it will be a difficult task. 

For a review of original sources to learn about what our new President has accomplished, check out the new White House website. (The large pictures are a new addition-- has anyone else noticed that difference??).

1 comment:

Mrs. B said...

I love you! Please continue to educate me!

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