Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Indiana

New stimulus bill

Can the American people take congress to court over the constitutionality of this new stimulus bill they just signed? It seems to me this is a violation of everything our Founding Fathers stood for.

Asked on 2/24/09, 2:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: New stimulus bill

No. The U.S. has three co-equal branches of government, none of which can tell either of the others how to do their jobs. That means, for example, that the President (in the Executive branch) can't tell a court (in the Judicial branch) how to decide a particular case. For the same reason, a court can't tell Congress (in the Legislative branch) which bills to pass and can't tell the President which ones to sign.

Even if you could bring such a suit, your opinion about what the Founders would think of the stimulus bill would not be grounds for any relief.

If the stimulus package actually conflicts with the Constitution (and not just with your idea of what the Framers stood for), the courts could strike it down on that basis. The way to bring such a challenge would not be by suing Congress. A better approach would be to sue the treasury department, but to do that you would need to show that the stimulus bill is harming you in some particular way. Merely being a citizen and taxpayer would not give you standing to bring such a suit.

Read more
Answered on 2/24/09, 5:15 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Constitutional Law questions and answers in Indiana