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Flast v. Cohen

United States Supreme Court
392 U.S. 83 (1968)


Facts

Flast and six other federal taxpayers (plaintiffs) brought suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to enjoin Cohen and other federal officers tasked with administering federal funds (defendants) from spending those funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The taxpayers brought suit solely based on their status as federal taxpayers, alleging that Congress’s spending of federal funds on instruction and materials in religious schools violated the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the United States Constitution. The lower court held that the taxpayers did not have standing as federal taxpayers. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Warren, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Douglas, J.)

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Concurrence (Stewart, J.)

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Concurrence (Fortas, J.)

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Dissent (Harlan, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

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