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Constitutional Law

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Commerce Clause

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Deciphering The Supreme Court's Opinion In Wynne, Walter Hellerstein Jul 2015

Deciphering The Supreme Court's Opinion In Wynne, Walter Hellerstein

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In Wynne, the Supreme Court held that Maryland's personal income tax regime violated the dormant Commerce Clause because It taxed income on a residence and source basis without giving a credit to residents for in· come taxed on a source basis by other states. The Court suggested, how· ever, that a state may tax residents on all their Income without providing a credit for taxes paid by other states if the state did not tax nonresidents on income from sources within the state, even though such a taxing regime might result in double taxation of interstate commerce.


The Commerce Power And Congressional Mandates, Dan T. Coenen Aug 2014

The Commerce Power And Congressional Mandates, Dan T. Coenen

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In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, a five-Justice majority concluded that the commerce power did not support enactment of the so-called “individual mandate,” which imposes a penalty on many persons who fail to buy health insurance. That ruling is sure to spark challenges to other federal laws on the theory that they likewise mandate individuals or entities to take certain actions. Federal laws founded on the commerce power, for example, require mine operators to provide workers with safety helmets and (at least as a practical matter) require mine workers to wear them. Some analysts will say that laws ...


The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2009

The Supreme Courts Municipal Bond Decision And The Market-Participant Exception To The Dormant Commerce Clause, Dan T. Coenen

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Does it violate the dormant Commerce Clause for a state to exempt interest earned on its own bonds, but no others, from income taxation? In a recent decision, the Supreme Court answered this question in the negative. Six members of the Court found the case controlled by the state-self-promotion exception to the dormancy doctrine's antidiscrimination rule. Three of those Justices, however, went further by also invoking the longstanding market-participant exception to sustain the discriminatory state tax break. This Essay challenges that alternative line of analysis. According to the author, the plurality's effort to apply the market-participant principle: (1 ...


Is "Internal Consistency" Dead?: Reflections On An Evolving Commerce Clause Restraint On State Taxation, Walter Hellerstein Jan 2007

Is "Internal Consistency" Dead?: Reflections On An Evolving Commerce Clause Restraint On State Taxation, Walter Hellerstein

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Under the "internal consistency" doctrine articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court under the dormant Commerce Clause, a state tax must be structured so that if every state were to impose an identical tax, interstate commerce would fare no worse than intrastate commerce. Although a relatively recent addition to the Court's Commerce Clause jurisprudence, the doctrine has played a significant role as the basis for the judicial invalidation of a wide array of state and local taxes. In American Trucking Associations, Inc., v. Michigan Public Service Commission, 545 U.S. 429 (2005), however, the Court sustained an admittedly "internally ...


Federal Constitutional Restraints On Tax Competition Among The American States, Walter Hellerstein Jan 2006

Federal Constitutional Restraints On Tax Competition Among The American States, Walter Hellerstein

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This article examines the judicially developed rules limiting interstate tax competition in the United States and the constitutional framework out of which they arise.


Commerce Clause Restraints On State Tax Incentives, Walter Hellerstein Dec 1997

Commerce Clause Restraints On State Tax Incentives, Walter Hellerstein

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The states' provision of tax incentives designed to encourage economic development within their borders has long been a feature of the American legislative landscape. Today every state provides tax incentives as an inducement to local industrial location and expansion. Indeed, scarcely a day goes by without some state offering yet another tax incentive to spur economic development, often in an effort to attract a particular enterprise to the state.

The debate over the efficacy and wisdom of state tax and other business incentives is intense and important, as other articles in this Symposium plainly reveal. My purpose here, however, is ...


Commerce Clause Restraints On State Taxation After Jefferson Lines, Walter Hellerstein, Michael J. Mcintyre, Richard D. Pomp Oct 1995

Commerce Clause Restraints On State Taxation After Jefferson Lines, Walter Hellerstein, Michael J. Mcintyre, Richard D. Pomp

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The Supreme Court's 1977 decision in Complete Auto Transit, Inc. v. Brady signaled a paradigmatic shift in the Court's approach to state tax adjudication under the dormant Commerce Clause. In Complete Auto, the Court repudiated the formalistic school of interpretation that once had governed Commerce Clause analysis of state taxation because it bore ‘no relationship to economic realities.’ In its place, the Court embraced a decisional framework that ‘considered not the formal language of the tax statute but rather its practical effect.’ In furtherance of this objective, the Court suggested a four-part test to guide the constitutional analysis ...


Justice Scalia And The Commerce Clause: Reflections Of A State Tax Lawyer, Walter Hellerstein Jun 1991

Justice Scalia And The Commerce Clause: Reflections Of A State Tax Lawyer, Walter Hellerstein

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This paper considers Justice Scalia's substantive views of the restraints that the commerce clause imposes on state taxation. My purpose is to examine critically Justice Scalia's dormant or "negative" commerce clause analysis of the state tax issues on which he has opined and to draw from that examination some general conclusions about Justice Scalia's commerce clause jurisprudence.


Hughes V. Oklahoma: The Court, The Commerce Clause, And State Control Of Natural Resources, Walter Hellerstein Jan 1979

Hughes V. Oklahoma: The Court, The Commerce Clause, And State Control Of Natural Resources, Walter Hellerstein

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The Supreme Court's recent Commerce Clause opinions reflect an apparent effort to rationalize and modernize the analytical framework for delineating the implied restraints that the Clause imposes on state legislation. In the state tax field, the Court has articulated a coherent set of criteria controlling the validity of state taxes on interstate commerce and has discarded doctrine inconsistent with these standards. In the state regulatory context, the Court has likewise enunciated meaningful decisional principles governing the constitutionality of state regulations affecting interstate commerce and has applied them without substantial concern for their impact on its precedents of an earlier ...