Tennessee's Refugee Resettlement Lawsuit Dismissed

March 21, 2018

A judge on Monday dismissed the state of Tennessee’s lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of unconstitutionally coercing it into subsidizing the federal refugee resettlement program.

Tennessee accused the government of invading its sovereignty by requiring it to provide Medicaid benefits to refugees, or else risk losing nearly $7 billion of Medicaid funds annually, equal to about 20 percent of its state budget, if it refused.

It said this violated the 10th Amendment, which limits U.S. government powers to those delegated in the Constitution. Tennessee was the first state to sue on that basis.

But in a 43-page decision, Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson of the federal court in Jackson, Tennessee said the state lacked legal standing to sue.

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