The Republican tax plan has been law for a week, but it’s already facing the threat of legal challenges from Democratic governors who believe that the bill’s disparate impact on red and blue states might be illegal.
Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN that the bill was “pillaging” from blue states in order to give tax cuts to more conservative states.
“This tax provision hits the blue states by eliminating the state and local tax deductibility and uses that money to finance the tax cut in the red states,” Cuomo explained.
The Republican tax plan gets rid of deductions for state and local income and property taxes beyond $10,000, hitting places with high property values and high income rates the hardest. Many of these areas are located in states like California and New York, which have a history of courageously resisting the Trump administration’s twisted agenda. Out of the 12 Republican lawmakers who voted against the tax bill, seven of them are from California or New York.
This partisan tax bill pillages blue states to finance cuts for red states. This is partisan politics over any semblance of good government. https://t.co/MJ5GFTQUCV
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 28, 2017
“You want to hurt New York? You want to hurt California?” Cuomo asked rhetorically on CNN. “They’re the economic engines.”
Earlier in December, Cuomo — with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy — suggested that progressive states might seek legal action against the tax bill, but did not say what that action might look like. In his interview with CNN, Cuomo said that the bill might be unconstitutional.
Norm Eisen, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the former White House ethics czar, said on Twitter that the “disparate treatment of pro GOP and anti-GOP States” in the tax bill “is so grotesque that there may well be a due process claim.”
The disparate treatment of pro GOP and anti-GOP States is so grotesque that there may well be a due process claim. Also eighth amendment cruel and unusual punishment 😉 https://t.co/iSNDQEt6XR
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) December 31, 2017
Some legal experts have argued that the challenges would probably depend on state’s being able to prove that the tax bill violates the protection of states’ rights in the U.S. Constitution.
States like California and New York have been active in defending Americans against the Trump administration’s agenda via the courts, from filing lawsuits over the administration’s awful attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and challenge rollbacks on environmental regulations.