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The Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit brought by Missouri and several other Republican states that sued after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. The states sought to fight the rule that said states could not use the money “to either directly or indirectly offset a reduction in the net tax revenue of the state.”
“Missouri said that provision prohibits only the deliberate use of relief funds to pay for a tax cut. The state argued that the Treasury Department’s interpretation of the law would sweep more broadly, blocking any new state tax policy that reduces revenue without some sort of offset. The St. Louis-based 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals faulted Missouri for not pointing to any particular state policy that might run afoul of the federal rule. The state was seeking ‘a quintessentially advisory opinion,’ something federal courts don’t issue, Judge Jane Kelly wrote for the panel,” Bloomberg News reported.
“The rejection is a victory for the Biden administration, which is fighting legal battles around the country over the restriction. A different federal appeals court, the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit, said in November the provision is too vague to be enforced,” the outlet added.
Missouri was one of several states suing. In May, the Alabama attorney general hit back after the Treasury Department issued guidance explaining that the funds could not be used for tax cuts.
“The proposed regulations do not make this unprecedented and unconstitutional statute any more constitutional,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said, CBS News reported. “If anything, they confirm the tremendous scope of influence the federal government intends to wield over how Alabama exercises its sovereign power.”
“Unfortunately, what Congress passed in the American Rescue Plan was ambiguous, and Secretary Yellen still has not provided clear guidelines. Americans cannot put their faith in whatever the latest interpretation is from the Biden Administration,” Mark Brnovich, who was the Arizona attorney general in May, said. “Arizona should not be put in a position of losing billions of dollars because the federal government wants to commandeer states’ tax policies.”
The Treasury Department said in the guidance that the federal government could take back funds if they were used to offset tax cuts.
“Together, these steps allow Treasury to identify the amount of reduction in net tax revenue that both is attributable to covered changes and has been directly or indirectly offset with Fiscal Recovery Funds,” it said. “This process ensures Fiscal Recovery Funds are used in a manner consistent with the statute’s defined eligible uses and the offset provision’s limitation on these eligible uses, while avoiding undue interference with State and territory decisions regarding tax and spending policies.”
The Supreme Court this month denied a 2020 election lawsuit against President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former Vice President Mike Pence 291 House members, and 94 senators.
“The lawsuit alleges the defendants violated their oaths of office by refusing to investigate evidence of fraud in the 2020 election before accepting the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, allowing for Biden and Harris to be fraudulently inaugurated. The court held a private conference Friday to vote on whether or not to hear the case, releasing its decision Monday. Four of the nine justices must vote to hear a case for it to move forward,” Just The News reported.
The lawsuit, filed by Raland J. Brunson, alleges the defendants violated their oaths of office by refusing to investigate evidence of fraud in the 2020 election before accepting the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Supreme Court issued another big ruling on Monday in a separate case.
The nation’s highest court rejected a bid by GOP attorneys general from 14 states after they attempted to have a Trump-era rule reinstating an immigrant wealth test that rejected green card applicants who were deemed to be at risk of becoming dependent on taxpayer-funded benefits.
Bloomberg News reported that without comment, the justices “left in place a federal appeals court decision that said the states couldn’t intervene after President Joe Biden’s administration dropped the federal government’s defense of the so-called public charge rule.”
“The appeal had limited practical importance because the administration formally replaced the Trump rule with a more lenient standard in December. Texas has sued to challenge that step, saying it conflicts with a federal immigration statute,” the outlet’s report continued.