Fitzgerald v. Racing Association of Central Iowa, 539 U.S. 103, 6 (2003)

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Opinion of the Court

no rational person, it believed, could claim the contrary. Id., at 561-562.

The Iowa Supreme Court could not deny, however, that the Iowa law, like most laws, might predominantly serve one general objective, say, helping the racetracks, while containing subsidiary provisions that seek to achieve other desirable (perhaps even contrary) ends as well, thereby producing a law that balances objectives but still serves the general objective when seen as a whole. See Railroad Retirement Bd. v. Fritz, 449 U. S. 166, 181 (1980) (Stevens, J., concurring in judgment) (legislation is often the "product of multiple and somewhat inconsistent purposes that led to certain compromises"). After all, if every subsidiary provision in a law designed to help racetracks had to help those racetracks and nothing more, then (since any tax rate hurts the racetracks when compared with a lower rate) there could be no taxation of the racetracks at all.

Neither could the Iowa Supreme Court deny that the 1994 legislation, seen as a whole, can rationally be understood to do what that court says it seeks to do, namely, advance the racetracks' economic interests. Its grant to the racetracks of authority to operate slot machines should help the racetracks economically to some degree—even if its simultaneous imposition of a tax on slot machine adjusted revenues means that the law provides less help than respondents might like. At least a rational legislator might so believe. And the Constitution grants legislators, not courts, broad authority (within the bounds of rationality) to decide whom they wish to help with their tax laws and how much help those laws ought to provide. "The 'task of classifying persons for . . . benefits . . . inevitably requires that some persons who have an almost equally strong claim to favored treatment be placed on different sides of the line,' and the fact the line might have been drawn differently at some points is a matter for legislative, rather than judicial, consideration." Id., at 179 (citation omitted). See also ibid. ( judicial review is "at

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