In response to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation limiting the standing of individual taxpayers to challenge government expenditures that violate the Establishment Clause, People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas released the following statement:
“It’s a bad day for the First Amendment. The Supreme Court just put a big dent in the wall of separation between church and state, and a big smile on Pat Robertson’s face. Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and allied Religious Right groups have long called on the Court to restrict the right of Americans to challenge government expenditures that unlawfully mix church and state. That is exactly what the Court did today.”
“Today’s ruling will make it more difficult for citizens whose tax dollars are being unlawfully spent to subsidize religion to bring a complaint in court. It is also consistent with a broader strategy by right-wing judges and activists to restrict standing for average Americans to challenge powerful government and business interests.
“The increasing willingness of the Court to undermine our rights and legal protections should be a wake-up call to Americans about the importance of the Court and future nominees.”