Supreme Court Declines to Hear Tennessee’s Challenge to Federal Refugee Resettlement Program


The U.S. Supreme Court said this week it will not hear Tennessee’s challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program, which claimed it violated the 10th Amendment.

Tennessee’s Republican-led government had asked for the review, The Associated Press reported. The court filed its denial earlier, letting a lower court ruling stand.

In May, the Tennessee government appealed a federal judge’s ruling in March that dismissed the state’s lawsuit against the federal government’s resettlement of refugees in the state on 10th Amendment grounds, The Tennessee Star reported.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Michigan represented the state, the Tennessee General Assembly, and Tennessee legislators State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) and State Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon) at no cost.

Eagle Forum, a national organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, filed an amicus brief in April in support of the Thomas More Law Center’s effort to get the Supreme Court to review the case, The Star said.

The appellate court further denied a request for the case to be heard by the full court, so the Law Center asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case last month.

According to the Law Center’s argument, Tennessee withdrew from the refugee resettlement program in 2008 after the federal government refused to cover state costs as was originally promised in the 1980 Refugee Act. The federal government then simply appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee to continue the program while still “forcing the state to pay for it.”

Attorneys for the federal government asked the Supreme Court to refuse to hear Tennessee’s lawsuit, the Tennessee Bar Association said in August. They said Tennessee lacked standing because it did not show any injury, the Tennessee attorney general refused to be involved and the state overstated its claim.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. The Associated Press contributed to this story.







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2 Thoughts to “Supreme Court Declines to Hear Tennessee’s Challenge to Federal Refugee Resettlement Program”

  1. my1rio

    Pathetic! Do-gooders want to take in the world’s population and ruin what we have. Of course we’re special–we built it. They didn’t, in their own countries. If you build it, they will come. Yep.

  2. 83ragtop50

    The Tennessee AG is a liberal dunce. He does not care one iota about well being of we citizens. He needs to GO!