In Tarsney v. O’Keefe, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dismissed a claim for lack of standing brought by Minnesota state taxpayers challenging a state program that provided abortions for indigent women. In so doing, the Eighth Circuit applied the holding of Flast v. Cohen, the United States Supreme Court case that narrowly limited federal taxpayer standing. The Eighth Circuit, however, erred in relying on Flast, as that case applies only to federal taxpayer standing, not state taxpayers. The court should have interpreted and applied the holding of Doremus v. Board of Education of Borough of Hawthorne, the leading Supreme Court case on the issue of state taxpayer standing, to determine whether the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the expenditure.
Richard M. Elias,
Confusion in the Realm of Taxpayer Standing: The State of State Taxpayer Standing in the Eighth Circuit,
66 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol66/iss2/4