OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Republicans have notched a massive victory over the Biden administration.
U.S. District Judge Douglas R. Cole from the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has issued a permanent injunction to block a vague tax mandate in Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the Washington Examiner reported.
Cole’s ruling blocks the Biden administration from preventing Ohio from using money it got from a federal coronavirus relief bill to pay for tax cuts.
Cole ruled that the tax mandate exceeded Congress’s authority under the Spending Clause due to its ambiguity.
The Interim Final Rule issued by the Treasury Department intended to clarify the tax mandate “does not cure that constitutional violation,” the judge stated.
“Accordingly, this Court GRANTS Ohio’s Motion for a Permanent Injunction (Doc. 38), and enjoins the [Treasury] Secretary from seeking to enforce the Tax Mandate, 42 U.S.C. § 802(c)(2)(A), against Ohio,” the ruling stated.
Cole also stated that he was concerned the Biden administration’s tax mandate violated the separation-of-powers principles from the Founding Fathers.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who headed the lawsuit, praised the ruling blocking the Biden administration’s attempt to overreach.
“The Biden administration reached too far, seized too much, and got its hand slapped,” Yost said. “This is a monumental win for the preservation of the U.S. Constitution—the separation of powers is real, and it exists for a reason.”
Yost said he thinks that Cole’s ruling could lay the groundwork for other states to follow a similar path in other states.
“It’s a really well-reasoned opinion by Judge Cole, and I think other federal judges will read it and find it well reasoned,” he said. “So, it doesn’t have any direct power, but it is very persuasive.”
“The progressives are going to be howling right now because they don’t like the idea that the federal government can’t tell Ohio what to do with its tax policy, but they’ll be quoting this decision soon enough to a Republican president who might want to tell a blue state how to run their state,” Yost said.
It was not just Ohio who went after Biden over the tax mandate.
A whopping 13 states followed Ohio and launched legal action against the provision.
The lawsuit by the 13 states said the provision is “one of the most egregious power grabs by the federal government” in the nation’s history.
After the ruling, a spokesperson with the Treasury Department seemed to suggest that the Biden administration does not plan to back down.
“We are confident that the act is constitutional and Treasury is committed to implementing it in a manner consistent with Congress’s direction so we can continue to promote a robust and equitable recovery,” the spokesperson said in a statement.