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Amicus Briefs

West Virginia v. Department of Treasury

Did we achieve our litigation objective? Yes, the so-called federal tax-cut ban was held unconstitutional.

Court Outcome: The Eleventh Circuit held that the “tax mandate” provision of the 2021 Covid stimulus bill (officially called the American Rescue Plan Act) is unconstitutional, because it doesn’t clearly state the condition states are subject to.

Larger Impact: This case served as an important check on the attempts by the federal government to use conditions on spending to enforce policies and restrictions on states that it has no constitutional authority to impose.

Summary: In the boldest federal power grab in recent memory, Congress attempted to usurp the sovereign powers of the States and seize their taxing authority. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), signed by President Biden on March 11, included a Tax Cut Ban that required States receiving federal rescue funds to give up their ability to decrease taxes for three or more years.

NCLA filed two amicus briefs against the U.S. Department of Treasury — one in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and one in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — arguing that the Tax Cut Ban was an unprecedented and unconstitutional seizure of state taxing power by Congress. NCLA argued that the Ban was unconstitutional because it placed a coercive condition on spending, commandeers state government officials in violation of the Tenth Amendment, and assaulted a core component of state sovereignty that is pre-Constitutional.

Mark Chenoweth
President and Chief Legal Officer
Sheng Li
Litigation Counsel
Margaret A. Little
Senior Litigation Counsel

Denial of Rehearing en Banc by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

September 14, 2023 | Read More

Opinion of the Court

January 20, 2023 | Read More

Amicus Curiae Brief of the New Civil Liberties Alliance in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellees

April 1, 2022 | Read More

Memorandum of Opinion

November 15, 2021 | Read More

Brief for Amicus Curiae New Civil Liberties Alliance

April 30, 2021 | Read More


Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Congress’ State Tax Cut Ban Unconstitutional, in NCLA Win

January 20, 2023 | Read More

Amicus Victory: NCLA Applauds Federal Court Ruling Invalidating ‘Tax Cut Ban’ in Thirteen States

November 16, 2021

NCLA Amicus Contests Congress’ Tax Cut Ban that Unlawfully Seizes State Taxing Authority

April 30, 2021


States challenge American Rescue Plan’s tax cut ban

Accounting Today

February 8, 2023



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