An Ohio federal judge said that Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., and others do not have standing in a challenge to the offshore financial account tax enforcement measures enacted in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and they were not likely to succeed on the merits in the case. The case is Crawford v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury, S.D. Ohio, No. 3:15-cv-00250, 9/29/15.
The U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose said in his September 29, 2015 order denying preliminary injunctive relief that the harms claimed by the plaintiffs are “remote and speculative harms, most of which would be caused by third parties, illusory, or self-inflicted.” He rejected Paul's assertion that he would suffer injury under his claim that the executive branch isn't adhering to the law.
Regarding Sen. Paul in particular, Judge Rose said the lawmaker had not been authorized to sue on behalf of the Senate and that his claims were barred by Raines v. Byrd, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that members of Congress challenging a law lacked Article III standing.
“Paul has alleged no injury to himself as an individual, the institutional injury he alleges is wholly abstract and widely dispersed, and his attempt to litigate this dispute at this time and in this form is contrary to historical experience,” Judge Rose said.
The only member of the group who has standing is Daniel Kuettel, a citizen of Switzerland who renounced his U.S. citizenship, and only regarding two counts alleging the heightened reporting requirements of the law deny equal protection to Americans living abroad and that the penalty for failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Report is excessive, Judge Rose said. However, those assertions do not survive a facial challenge, he said.
The public interest is also best served by keeping the FATCA provisions in place, Judge Rose said.
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