Dec 10 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused
to hear an appeal by a taxpayer who claimed the government's
2008 bailout of the insurer American International Group Inc
violated the constitutional separation of church and
Without comment, the court let stand a June 1 ruling by the
6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati that Kevin
Murray lacked standing to challenge the $182.3 billion bailout,
including its use of taxpayer funds from the Troubled Asset
Relief Program ("TARP").
The bailout left the government with a controlling stake in
New York-based AIG, which it has since reduced.
Murray, a Michigan resident and Marine veteran of Operation
Iraqi Freedom, said the bailout violated the First Amendment's
establishment clause because AIG has units that market and sell
financing products compliant with Sharia, Islamic law based on
teachings of the Koran.
He contended that the sale of such products was a basis for
a "global jihadist war against the West and the United States,"
and sent a message that non-adherents to Islam were outsiders.
But the 6th Circuit said nothing in the law authorizing TARP
suggested that Congress knew or intended that TARP funds might
support the sale of the Sharia-compliant products.
"It was only through executive discretion that TARP funds
were transferred to AIG and, in turn, its subsidiaries," it
wrote. "Because the (law) does not contemplate the use of
federal funds to support religious activities, plaintiff lacks
Other defendants included the Federal Reserve System and the
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
The case is Murray v. U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S.
Supreme Court, No. 12-452.