Judge says no to Biden administration challenge

President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief law was almost blocked by a federal judge on Wednesday following an effort by Ohio’s Republican attorney general, according to The Hill.

The measure, which would have been temporarily halted, stands in the way of states using federal coronavirus aid to offset future state tax cuts, something states consider to be outside of the federal purview.

According to The Hill, District Court Judge Douglas Cole’s ruling was a narrow victory for the Biden administration. The judge said that while Ohio’s claim had merit, the requested halt would be inappropriate since it’s considered unlikely that the Treasury Department would take action against the state.

“The bottom line is this — a preliminary injunction that stands no meaningful prospect of ever being enforced, as the Secretary is unlikely to be in a position to recoup funds while this suit is pending, adds nothing by way of clarity,” wrote Cole, a Trump appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

“Thus, while the Court finds that irreparable harm likely exists, the requested preliminary injunction does not avoid that harm,” he added.

The suit was filed in March against Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) who stated that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to put the conditions on the coronavirus relief.

That wasn’t Yellen’s only interaction with State AG’s on the issue, however. March also saw a group of 21 Republican state attorney generals who challenging the provision, according to The Hill, citing the potential for violation of states’ rights.

“Absent a more sensible interpretation from your department, this provision would amount to an unprecedented and unconstitutional intrusion on the separate sovereignty of the State through federal usurpation of essentially one half of the State’s fiscal ledgers,” they wrote in the letter.

“Indeed, such federal usurpation of state tax policy would represent the greatest attempted invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic.”

 
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