is to urge that the Executive alone can decide what is best and what the law requires. To say that persons immediately and seriously affected by failure to commit funds authorized by the Legislature cannot go to court is to ignore the democratic base of our society. Indeed, it is only when the three equal and coordinate branches of government function that a stable government can be assured. Cf. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 2 L. Ed. 60 (1803). The rule of law dictates calm judicial determination rather than political confrontation. Such confrontations are either resolved by naked power utilized in many irrelevant ways, or the issue stalemates. We are a government of law, not men, and the law must be determined and upheld. This is the never-ending process by which the Constitution is molded to the exigencies of the times and will be made rational in this and succeeding centuries. These cases should move to higher courts for prompt, definitive determination shorn of the confusing inconsequential defenses so typical of Government legalese these days. The defendants' motion to dismiss is denied.
The controlling question on the merits is whether the money authorized under the legislation was appropriated to be spent at the discretion of the Executive, or appropriated with an affirmative direction that the money be fully spent within the fiscal year. This issue is to be resolved without regard for the merits or demerits of the particular program involved, although it is perhaps of some significance in weighing the matter to note that this particular appropriation does not affect our foreign or military affairs. Rather, it falls squarely in an area of domestic concern in which the President's responsibility to execute the laws must be viewed without regard to issues of national defense or foreign policy, where the Constitution may recognize some special authority of the President to deal with developing conditions.
The defendants emphasize the overall economic problems confronting the nation, the heavy demand for funds in areas where national security considerations abound, and the absence of any national procedure for reconciling various appropriations in the light of current budgetary pressures, in part exacerbated by debt limitations. All of this is indeed pertinent, but whatever may be the President's power to limit expenditures to accommodate the total moneys available, he does not have complete discretion to pick and choose between programs when some are made mandatory by conscious, deliberate congressional action. At least with respect to the programs involved here, there is no basis for defendants' assertion of inherent constitutional power in the Executive to decline to spend in the face of a clear statutory intent and directive to do so. Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes, 37 U.S. 524, 9 L. Ed. 1181 (1838); Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 72 S. Ct. 863, 96 L. Ed. 1153 (1952); State Highway Comm'n v. Volpe, 479 F.2d 1099 (8th Cir. 1973); Local 2677, Am. Fed'n Gov't Employees v. Phillips, 358 F. Supp. 60 (D.D.C. 1973).
The Court concludes that Congress intended to require a full commitment of the fiscal 1973 appropriated funds by the end of the fiscal year. This intent is established by the following facts and circumstances, among others.
Through the Act, Congress has constructed an elaborate scheme to advance the cause of community mental health treatment, and has continually appropriated money to achieve the purposes of the Act. The object of the Act is to provide federal money to establish new community mental health centers and programs throughout the nation. Once begun, the federal moneys continue to be available in succeeding years at somewhat reduced levels. In extending the program to make available initial grants in additional fiscal years, Congress has necessarily also permitted additional centers to be eligible for the substantial succeeding year grants. In the face of vast unmet mental health needs throughout the nation, Congress has continuously appropriated money for new grants to extend the benefits of the Act. The Act was never viewed by Congress as a demonstration program to get communities to follow the examples of others and start their own centers, but rather a national effort to redress the presently wholly inadequate measures being taken to meet increasing mental health treatment needs.
The defendants' present efforts to shut down these programs, perhaps in favor of others, on the grounds these initial general funding grants were for demonstration programs and have served their purpose, is not only inconsistent with the Act, its continuing support and expansion by Congress, and the congressional intent found in the legislative history, but is a view recently explicitly rejected by Congress in extending the programs, with appropriations, through fiscal 1974, so that community facilities can be further expanded.
Therefore, while the internal language of this Act is "discretionary," it would appear Congress did not intend that the Executive shall have discretion simply to end the program in total without regard to the essential purposes of the Act. See State Highway Comm'n v. Volpe, supra.
Given this intent, the question then arises whether this intent was anywhere made sufficiently explicit by the statutes as to constitute a mandatory directive to the President. Subsequent to the passage of the Act, an amendment (hereinafter "Section 601") was enacted which provided as follows:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, unless enacted after the enactment of this Act expressly in limitation of the provisions of this section, funds appropriated for any fiscal year ending prior to July 1, 1973, to carry out any program for which appropriations are authorized by . . . or the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963 (Public Law 88-164, as amended) shall remain available for obligation and expenditure until the end of such fiscal year. Medical Facilities Construction and Modernization Amendments of 1970, Pub. L. No. 91-296; Title VI, § 601, 84 Stat. 353, 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 201 note and 2661 note (emphasis added).