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Supreme Court Blocks Faith Based Initiative Suit

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The US Supreme Court had yet another opportunity to show its Bush-based republicanism today when it refused to allow taxpayers to challenge the use of federal funds to support religous organizations and charities. A group of eight individuals brought the action hoping to reestablish the separation of church and state by preventing religious organizations from applying from federal money.

To show how much funding religious organizations have received as of late, MSNBC.Com reports

In fiscal 2005, seven federal agencies awarded $2.1 billion to religious charities, according to a White House report. That was up 7 percent from the year before and represented 10.9 percent of the grants from the seven federal agencies providing money to faith-based groups.

The Bush administration says taxpayers should not be allowed to challenge the government’s conferences because Congress did not earmark funds for a specific program and no funds were distributed outside the government. The White House pulled money for the conferences out of general appropriations

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Souter stated that the only reason the suit was not allowed to proceed was because the authority to allow the funding to the religious organizations came from the executive branch instead of the legislative branch, insinuating that the president can write his own rules about where federal tax dollars can be allocated.