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2006

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Faculty Publications

Sixteenth Amendment

Articles 1 - 5 of 5

Full-Text Articles in Law

Interpreting The Sixteenth Amendment (By Way Of The Direct-Tax Clauses), Erik M. Jensen Feb 2006

Interpreting The Sixteenth Amendment (By Way Of The Direct-Tax Clauses), Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

The Sixteenth Amendment and the direct-tax clauses have become subjects of interest in the legal academy and, as proposals for new forms of national taxation emerge on a seemingly daily basis, they could become subjects of more general interest as well. Under the direct-tax clauses, a direct tax must be apportioned among the states on the basis of population, making such a tax difficult, although not impossible, to implement. Following the Supreme Court decisions in the 1895 Income Tax Cases, which held that an 1894 income tax was a direct tax that had not been properly apportioned, the Sixteenth Amendment ...


The Taxing Power, The Sixteenth Amendment, And The Meaning Of ‘Incomes,’, Erik M. Jensen Feb 2006

The Taxing Power, The Sixteenth Amendment, And The Meaning Of ‘Incomes,’, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

This article examines the debates leading to the enactment of the 1894 income tax, which the Supreme Court struck down in 1895, and the Sixteenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, and concludes that an income tax and a tax on consumption were understood to be fundamentally different types of taxes. The author argues that the term “taxes on incomes” in the Sixteenth Amendment should be interpreted with that distinction in mind. The Amendment was intended to make a “tax on incomes,” and only a tax on incomes, possible without the apportionment that would otherwise be required for a direct tax. For ...


Unapportioned Direct-Consumption Taxes And The Sixteenth Amendment, Erik M. Jensen Feb 2006

Unapportioned Direct-Consumption Taxes And The Sixteenth Amendment, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

The point of this essay is simple: a direct-consumption tax like the Forbes-Armey-Hall-Rabushka flat tax or the Nunn-Domenici USA tax is not a "tax on incomes" within the meaning of the Sixteenth Amendment. As a result, such a tax would be constitutional only if it were apportioned among the states on the basis of population. And since these taxes would not be apportioned-how could they be and work as they are intended to work?-they would be unconstitutional.


Taxation And The Constitution: How To Read The Direct-Tax Clauses, Erik M. Jensen Jan 2006

Taxation And The Constitution: How To Read The Direct-Tax Clauses, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

This essay responds to Professor Bruce Ackerman, who had challenged the author's understanding of the Direct-Tax Clauses of the Constitution and the Sixteenth Amendment to that Constitution.


The Apportionment Of ‘Direct Taxes’: Are Consumption Taxes Constitutional?, Erik M. Jensen Jan 2006

The Apportionment Of ‘Direct Taxes’: Are Consumption Taxes Constitutional?, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

In debates about reorienting the American revenue system, nearly everyone assumes the Constitution is irrelevant. With few exceptions, the tax provisions in the original Constitution - particularly the direct-tax apportionment rule and the uniformity rule - have been interpreted to be paper tigers. And in only one major case has the Sixteenth Amendment, which excepts "taxes on incomes" from apportionment, been held to limit congressional power.

S Rejecting conventional wisdom, this Article argues that some consumption taxes would violate constitutional norms. The Article focuses on the requirement that “direct taxes” be apportioned among the states on the basis of population. From a ...