US appeals court rules against Tennessee refugee challenge

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 15:46:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An appeals court has ruled against Tennessee lawmakers in their challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the GOP-led General Assembly hasn't claimed an injury that gives it standing in the case and hasn't established it has authority to sue on the state's behalf.

The March 2017 lawsuit argued the refugee program forces Tennessee to spend money on additional services, including health care and education.

A district court dismissed the case in March 2018, in part deeming it speculative for Tennessee to contend it might lose $7 billion annually in federal Medicaid money if it refuses to spend state money on refugee services through Medicaid.

Neither Attorney General Herbert Slatery nor then-Republican Gov. Bill Haslam backed the lawsuit.