WASHINGTON – Acting U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed a brief this week, advising the U.S. Supreme Court not to use its “original jurisdiction” power to review New Hampshire’s pending lawsuit against Massachusetts.
Last year, the State of New Hampshire filed the lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts after Massachusetts began to levy income taxes on New Hampshire residents who normally work in Massachusetts but had been working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has the authority of original jurisdiction, or the first court to hear a case, when it comes to hearing cases between two states. In Prelogar’s brief (see below), she notes that the Court in the past has said it should use this authority sparingly and then says it should not be used here.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu remained defiant and vowed that the state will continue to pursue the case.
“Try as they might, overreach by Washington politicians and efforts by the Biden administration will not deter New Hampshire from fighting against Massachusetts’ unconstitutional attempt to tax our citizens,” said Sununu. “We remain confident that the Supreme Court of the United States will hear our case, that we will have our day in court to fight for Granite Staters, and that when we do so, we will win.”
New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators echoed Sununu’s sentiments.
“I’m disappointed by the Biden administration for urging the Supreme Court to decline the case that would reverse an unfair, and I believe unconstitutional, tax burden on Granite State workers, especially those who have been working remotely throughout this pandemic,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. (D-NH) “I’ve continuously pushed back against this requirement and have worked to advance legislation in Congress to prevent this abuse of Granite State workers by other state governments. I’ll keep fighting to find a path forward that protects New Hampshire workers from this improper out-of-state influence.”
“This is the wrong position by the Biden administration. I’ve long said that attempts by other states to unfairly tax New Hampshire residents are unconstitutional,” said U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan. “The Supreme Court must hear this case and reverse this bad-faith effort. We need strict and clear limitations set upon states that attempt to wrongly tax Granite Staters and I will continue to push to ensure exactly that.”
Hassan, Shaheen and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) are re-introducing versions of legislation co-sponsored last year by Pappas and other Congressmen from states with residents in similar situations.
“I was very disappointed with the Solicitor General’s decision. I hope the court takes up the case anyway, but if they don’t, that points for the fact that we need a legislative fix for this,”
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley tied Sununu to Massachusetts Governor and fellow Republican Charlie Baker, with Baker and Buckley gathering with other Republican governors in Tennessee this week.
“Governor Sununu has spent this past week hobnobbing with corporate donors and Governor Charlie Baker, who is responsible for taxing Granite Stater’s hard-earned money. Instead of hanging out with Baker, Sununu should have been pushing him to end Massachusetts’ unfair taxation of New Hampshire citizens. We’re lucky that our congressional delegation is actually taking action to end this unconstitutional and unfair tax.”