Things are about to get interesting.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last night that the state will file a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the Republican tax bill signed into law by Trump last month.
In his State of the State address Wednesday, Cuomo continued to rail against the tax bill approved by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed by President Trump.
The Democratic governor said he will sue over the law and look to reform New York's own tax code, perhaps through the payroll tax, in response to the federal action.
"We believe it is illegal, and we will challenge it in court as unconstitutional," Cuomo proclaimed to a standing ovation.
This might sound far-fetched, but it may not be.
The Constitution prohibits the federal government and Congress from passing laws that favor one state over the other. More specifically, Article 1 Section 9 says states must be treaty equally by the national government.
We don't know if New York will challenge the law under those grounds or for other reasons, but we've seen plenty of evidence that the Republican bill was intentionally written to punish wealthy liberal states. It's not a coincidence that the biggest pay-for in the GOP bill was the elimination of state and local tax deductions that are only claimed by liberal states. A number of Republican representatives from states such as New York and California voted against it for that reason. That could even cost the GOP their majority in November as there are plenty of seats in high-tax states to regain control of the House.
It seems unlikely to me that New York and possibly other states will be successful, but I think it's a good idea to challenge the law court in any case. The limits of a Congress driven by bad faith and malice should be explored in court.
It's not clear to me but I presume the U.S. Treasury will be named as the defendant in this lawsuit. When it's actually filed we can talk about more specifics.