In so holding, the 8th Circuit determined, in their considered opinion, that the small class of people whose income approach $105,000 is not needy, and since this statutory scheme may benefit some people who are not needy, it is therefore not based on need. Never mind that the median income for a household of four in Minnesota is $105,000. Or that as people approach the threshold, the amount of their refund is negligible and not administering in bankruptcy, such that trustees only go after the refunds of poorer homeowners who get the larger refunds.
When I lose a case, I take consolation in knowing that the judges fully considered my arguments, and in this case, I can say that. But I think they improperly substituted their judgment for that of the legislature since the legislature draws the lines, and courts should follow those lines unless they are absurd. I put $15,000 of my own time and money into this case, arguing over $1,500, and I know there are a lot of other people who were waiting for this decision, so the total amount in controversy exceeds what I have into it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the desired result, and the next step is to take this to the legislature to clarify that this is within the list of government assistance based on need.