Attorney General Paxton joined an Indiana-led amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, with 22 states in all, in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, No. 21-806 (U.S.). The brief argues that the Court should reexamine outdated and anomalous precedent that permits implied private rights of action under Section 1983 to enforce contractual conditions imposed by the federal government under Spending Clause legislation. Instead, the Court should establish a clear, bright-line rule that–consistent with principles of political accountability and contract law—private, non-contracting actors may not use a tort cause of action under Section 1983 to enforce such contractual conditions.
“Spending Clause statutes are fundamentally contractual: Congress requires grant recipients, such as states, to comply with conditions in exchange for federal funding,” the brief states. “Permitting private actions to enforce federal conditions based on implied rights erodes that foundational limitation on Congress’s Spending Clause power.”
To read the letter click here.