Tennessee Sues US Government Over Refugee Resettlement on 10th Amendment
Tenessee has become the first US State to sue the Federal Government over the refugee resettlement program on the grounds of the 10th Amendment. The lawsuit was filed Monday morning in the western district of Tennessee. It alleges that the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment. The 10th Amendment says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.
The lawsuit charges the federal government with not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980 based on the 10th Amendment. This makes Tennessee’s lawsuit the first of its kind. While other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement, all previous lawsuits have been based on different legal grounds. The lawsuit accuses the federal government of unduly forcing states to pay for the refugee resettlement program. The lawsuit asks the court to stop the federal government from resettling refugees in Tennessee until all costs associated with the settlement are incurred by the federal government.
The ACLU is calling the bill “troubling,” while the immigrant rights coalition claims Tennessee is trying to out Trump, Trump:
“Not wanting to be outdone by the federal government, our legislature is proceeding with this extreme lawsuit in hopes of locking the door and throwing away the key. Though this lawsuit is bound to fail in the courts, its very filing assures Tennessee’s place in a very dark chapter of our country’s history, But just as the courts will dismiss this lawsuit, Tennesseans will also reject this betrayal of our values and demand real leadership from our elected leaders.” – Stephanie Teatro
The state’s lawsuit is brought by the Thomas More Law Center. They are a Michigan-based legal group that has taken on several conservative legal causes in recent years. Their selection came after the overwhelming approval of the lawsuit and after the Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery declined to initiate the case.
Several state Republicans have risen to show their support of the bill:
“The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences.” – Sen. John Stevens
“The only way we can get back to our constitutional beginnings and the intent birthed by our Founding Fathers is to go and take it back. We are looking forward to linking arms with the Thomas More Law Center for the long haul to regain sovereignty for our great state.” – Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver
The nation continues to debate refugee resettlement and immigrant rights as it awaits President Donald Trump’s new travel ban. The ban is set to take effect Thursday. It bars travel for many people from six Muslim-majority counties.