Unlike Question 2 on Tuesday’s ballot, Question 1 does not open up a can of worms as to the meaning of “privacy.’’ We urged a “no’’ vote on Question 2 last week. Today, we urge a “yes’’ on Question 1.
That’s because Question 1 merely restores to our state Constitution the right of taxpayer standing that had been part of New Hampshire law for generations.
It was only recently that the state Supreme Court decided that an individual taxpayer did not have the right to bring a legal action against the government unless, in the court’s view, that citizen could show direct harm.
As a result, we have seen Manchester citizens unable to sue City Hall for ignoring a tax cap. Likewise, a member of the state board of education was prevented from suing the state over a scholarship program that provides a private company a tax deduction for donating to the program.
We happened to agree with the first effort and disagreed with the second but that’s not the point. The point is that New Hampshire taxpayers should have the right to sue when they feel their tax dollars are being used in unlawful ways.
Some people, including judges we know, argue that restoring taxpayer standing would mean that judges, rather than elected officials, are making law.
We don’t buy it. The system worked well for a couple of hundred years. We think it should be restored.