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Full-Text Articles in Law

How The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Should Interpret Wynne, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Dec 2015

How The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Should Interpret Wynne, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this special report, Knoll and Mason discuss how the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court should apply Wynne when it hears on remand First Marblehead v. Commissioner of Revenue. The authors conclude that when it originally heard the case, the Massachusetts court mistakenly considered, as part of its internal consistency analysis, whether Gate Holdings Inc. experienced double state taxation. As developed by the U.S. Supreme Court and most recently applied in Wynne, the internal consistency test is not concerned with actual double taxation that may arise from the interaction of different states’ laws. Rather, the test is designed to determine ...


Rediscovering Capture: Antitrust Federalism And The North Carolina Dental Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2015

Rediscovering Capture: Antitrust Federalism And The North Carolina Dental Case, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This brief essay analyzes the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in the North Carolina Dental case, assessing its implications for federalism. The decision promises to re-open old divisions that had once made the antitrust "state action" doctrine a controversial lightning rod for debate about state economic sovereignty.

One provocative issue that neither the majority nor the dissenters considered is indicated by the fact that nearly all the cartel customers in the Dental case were located within the state. By contrast, the cartel in Parker v. Brown, which the dissent held up as the correct exemplar of the doctrine, benefited California ...


Wynne: It's Not About Double Taxation, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Feb 2015

Wynne: It's Not About Double Taxation, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article discusses Wynne v. Comptroller, a dormant Commerce Clause case against Maryland pending before the Supreme Court. We use economic analysis to rebut Maryland’s claim that its tax regime does not discriminate against interstate commerce. We also argue that the parties’ framing of the central issue in the case as whether the Constitution requires states to relieve double taxation draws focus away from the discrimination question, and therefore could undermine the Wynnes’ case and lead to unjustified narrowing of the dormant Commerce Clause. We also show how our approach to tax discrimination resolves many of the issues that ...


What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

From the outset of Detroit’s bankruptcy, an unlikely set of issues kept coming up: What exactly is a lien? Who has a property interest or its equivalent in bankruptcy? Did general obligation bondholders have special status, due to Detroit’s promise to use its “full faith and credit” for repayment? What about Detroit’s pension beneficiaries, who could point to a provision in the Michigan Constitution stating that accrued pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. In this Article, I explore these and related issues that have arisen in Detroit and other recent municipal bankruptcy cases.

Part I of ...


From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the past five years, three of the most remarkable bankruptcy cases in American history have come out of Detroit: the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, and of Detroit itself in 2012. The principal objective of this Article is simply to show that the Grand Bargain at the heart of the Detroit bankruptcy is the direct offspring of the bankruptcy sale transactions that were used to restructure Chrysler and GM. The proponents of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” never would have dreamed up the transaction were it not for the federal government-engineered carmaker bankruptcies. The Article’s second ...


Comptroller V. Wynne: Internal Consistency, A National Marketplace, And Limits On State Sovereignty To Tax, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2015

Comptroller V. Wynne: Internal Consistency, A National Marketplace, And Limits On State Sovereignty To Tax, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

On November 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Comptroller of the Treasury v. Wynne. The case, which has already been called the Court’s most important state tax case in decades, asks how the dormant Commerce Clause restrains state taxation of individual income. Because Wynne lacks the usual indicia of “certworthiness,” the case raises the possibility that the Court will reshape the constitutional balance between the states’ sovereign interest in collecting taxes and the national interest in maintaining an open economy.

The challenge for the Court, whose dormant Commerce Clause rulings have attracted intense criticism ...