A Tennessee judge this week moved to dismiss a case that would have, we believe, once and for all, settled the issue of whether the federal government can place refugees in a state and expect state taxpayers to pay for many of their needs.
But, as you read the story, remember that the Judge was dismissing the case because the US Justice Department (Jeff Sessions) asked for the case to be dismissed.
We told you back in May that DOJ lawyers were pushing for dismissal.
I find it stunning that AG Jeff Sessions did not see the significance of this Tenth Amendment case for, not just the refugee resettlement program, but for other programs where the feds dump financial responsibility on states that don’t want it! (And, don’t tell me he might not have known what his lawyers were doing!).
Here is Neil Munro writing at Breitbart on Tuesday:
A March 19 federal court decision requiring taxpayers in Tennessee to fund the federal government’s refugee program ignores a 2012 Supreme Court decision, says Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center.
The judge’s 43-page decision on the refugee program “is filled with appealable issues,” Thompson told a Tuesday event hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies. “Our view is that we should appeal it” at no cost to state taxpayers, said Roberts, who is the lead pro-bono lawyer in the case.
“We would relish that … this case could very well end up in the Supreme Court,” he said.
A Supreme Court majority ruled in 2012 that the federal government cannot force states to fund federal programs, so “the judge basically backed off because it was too controversial and ruled on the basis of standing,” Thompson added.
The case is important for many states because the federal refugee program forces state taxpayers and governments to fund most of the welfare, aid, and education costs of federal government’s policy of dropping refugees and their children in the states, he said. If states balk at paying the costs, the federal government can threaten to cut their share of federal funding for the Medicare program, he said.
In Tennessee, the federal Medicare program funds one-fifth of the state budget, or $7 billion per year.
The judge did not hold a hearing on the case but relied on written statements from the plaintiffs and defendants.
The judge’s decision shows the political power of the federal program, said Mark Krikorian, director of the center. “A state can check out of the refugee program, but it can never leave,” he said.
As I understand it, it is now up to the state of Tennessee to decide to take the Thomas More Law Centers‘ offer to appeal the case, free of charge. (Or, will big industry—meatpackers!—prevail on the pols to drop the whole thing so their steady supply of cheap refugee labor continues to flow into the state.)