Arizona v. Yellen
Arizona v. Yellen (U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, May 19, 2022): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Arizona has standing to challenge the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a federal pandemic response package. Arizona challenged ARPA’s “tax mandate” barring states from “directly or indirectly” using ARPA aid funds to offset state tax revenue. The state attorney general argued that ARPA was unconstitutionally coercive and violated the Spending Clause and the Tenth Amendment, asking a federal district court to block the tax provision. The court dismissed the case, finding that Arizona had not demonstrated harm and thus did not have standing to challenge the law. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that Arizona has standing because of the “realistic danger” that ARPA’s enforcement would require the state to return ARPA funds, creating a concrete injury for standing purposes. Further, states generally have authority to set their own tax policy and have an “interest in being free from coercion impacting” that policy. Read the full decision here.