Federal Judge Rules Inmates are Eligible for COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
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We believe in equality, the same as most Americans do, but when it comes to ‘equality of outcomes,’ there has to be a line drawn there because equal outcomes are just impossible to achieve.
Were that not so, then everyone who wanted to be a pro football player would be one; everyone who wanted to become Jeff Bezos wealthy would be; everyone who wanted to be Nobel Prize-winning smart would be.
With that in mind, equal outcomes also should not apply to people who are not even putting forth any effort to contribute to society in the first place – like those who are presently incarcerated for various crimes.
However, a federal judge doesn’t see it that way.
COVID-19 relief passed by Congress and signed by President Trump earlier this year was meant to provide working Americans some measure of economic relief as tens of millions lost jobs or had work hours reduced due to virus-related business closures and lockdowns.
But U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, a Clinton appointee, agreed with a group of prisoners who brought a class-action lawsuit that they, too, ought to get COVID-19 relief money.
The IRS sent out nearly 85,000 stimulus checks to inmates in April worth about $100 million but revised its policy a month later and said incarcerated people don’t qualify and that the money that has been sent out should be returned.
Hamilton wrote in a Wednesday decision that the Trump administration move to withhold checks “solely on the basis of their incarcerated status is arbitrary and capricious.”
Hamilton gave the IRS a deadline of Oct. 24 to reconsider its position on sending payments to inmates whose checks have been withheld, intercepted, or returned, and those incarcerated people who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 have until Oct. 30 to file paperwork to claim the money.
The Trump administration has appealed the ruling, but the IRS website currently states that the agency “cannot deny a payment to someone who is incarcerated if they meet the criteria.”
Do you know what is “arbitrary and capricious?” A federal judge who bases her ruling on whether or not she supports the political party of the current administration, to the detriment of American taxpayers.
Worse, the funds weren’t even covered by taxpayers yet; the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that provided the money was borrowed and has now been tacked on to the additional $24-odd trillion that Washington’s political leaders have, for decades, borrowed, saddling future generations with the bill that will eventually come due (and wreck the world’s largest economy in the process).
That’s textbook “arbitrary” capriciousness.
While there may not have been language in the legislation specifically prohibiting relief funds from going to prisoners, there was also no specific language mandating that prisoners be given a portion of that money, either. Thus, it became a policy decision the Trump administration was well within its rights to have made.
Federalism, in other words.
But then, that’s a concept that left-wing judicial activists who base their rulings on presidents they don’t like instead of what’s in the best interests of preserving the Constitution aren’t concerned with.