Court Rules for ACLU-MN Taxpayer Standing in Charter School Case
Decision allows ACLU-MN to protect public money
July 21, 2009
St. Paul, MN -- Today, U.S District Court Judge Donovan Frank ruled that the ACLU-MN has taxpayer standing to protect public funds in a lawsuit filed on behalf of its members against Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), its sponsor, Islamic Relief, and the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. The lawsuit argues that TIZA's policies and operations improperly promote religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. The ruling came down in response to the motions to dismiss filed by the defendants, arguing, among other things, that the ACLU-MN did not have standing to sue. The Court rejected the argument and found that the ACLU-MN had demonstrated that it has standing to sue on behalf of its taxpaying members.
The Court noted that its decision "underscores the importance of taxpayer standing, particularly when there is no other party to sue." The Court opined that, while TIZA students or their parents could raise an Establishment Clause challenge against TIZA, "[i]t seems unlikely that a parent or student of TIZA, who presumably attends the school because of its particularized program, would challenge the program of choice."
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Related Topics: Lawfare in the United States
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