From Above the Law:
The Republican tax bill famously capped the deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) at $10,000 for the purposes of federally taxed income.
The move, orchestrated by Republicans from low-tax, low-population states, represented a flashpoint in our growing system of political apartheid. It was an attack on high-tax “blue” states that provide services to their people, by flyover country that has gotten used to living without Medicare or education.
The blue states are fighting back, such as they can. A lawsuit was filed by New York Governor (for now) Andrew Cuomo against the federal government, joined by Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey. They argue that the Republican tax bill interferes with state’s rights to make their own fiscal decisions.
But the states also argue that federal government is violating the original meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment… and I am all here for that. Blue states are making an originalist argument about the 16th Amendment and that is goddamn fascinating!
Of course, “originalism” isn’t really an honest attempt to interpret Constitutional issues, it’s a cynical attempt to promote the polices of the Republican party. Right now, the policy of the Republican party is to napalm the SALT deduction.
I expect judges picked by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation to dance with the party that brought them. “Federalism” concerns or evidence of original intent mean nothing to these people when there is a preferred Republican policy up for review.
Still, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is making a great argument here. Even if she loses, she’s sure going to make conservative judges show themselves to be inveterate hypocrites.