Commerce Clause

News & Analysis as of

North Carolina Court Holds Statute Taxing Trust Income Unconstitutional Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North Carolina...

On April 23, 2015, Judge Gregory P. McGuire of the Business Court division of the Superior Court of Wake County, North Carolina, issued a decision in the matter of the Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North...more

Trucking Company Appeals ATB Decision Upholding Use Tax Assessment on Trucks Used in Interstate Commerce

In a case to watch for interstate trucking companies, Regency Transportation, Inc. is appealing a use tax assessment upheld by the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (“ATB”). Regency had challenged the Department of Revenue’s...more

Onward to Trial: Federal Court Rejects Vermont’s Motion to Dismiss GMA Lawsuit

Despite a stiff litigation challenge from the food industry, Vermont’s GMO-labeling campaign marches on. This week saw major developments in the suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association and other food industry...more

"Temple-Inland Sheds Light on Delaware’s Use of Estimations in Unclaimed Property Audits"

As noted in prior mailings on this topic, all 50 states require companies to comply with broad and often complex unclaimed property laws that mandate annual reporting. Unclaimed property is generally defined as tangible or...more

Mississippi Court Rules Discriminatory Exclusion is Unconstitutional

The Hinds County Chancery Court recently issued an opinion in AT&T Corp. v. Miss. Dep't of Revenue finding that Mississippi's dividend exclusion statute unlawfully discriminates against interstate commerce and is therefore...more

This is Not a Joke: Federal Court to Consider Quill and Comity

In the ongoing saga over Colorado’s use tax reporting laws in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl (DMA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ordered a full briefing on the Comity Doctrine and the Commerce Clause...more

Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Audit Program Dealt Blow

The judge in a case challenging Delaware’s use of sampling and extrapolation to determine unclaimed property liability denied the state’s motion to dismiss and in doing so, seriously questioned the State’s approach. ...more

Tax Injunction Act Does Not Bar Suit by Online Retailers Trade Association, But May Not Be the Last Word on Taxation of Online...

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held on March 3 that the Tax Injunction Act does not bar a lawsuit brought by the Direct Marketing Association, a trade association of retailers, challenging the enforcement of a Colorado...more

Prairie Dogs vs. Congress

A recent ruling by a Utah federal judge, although directed at the Endangered Species Act (ESA), may have far-reaching implications on Congress' commerce clause powers. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Judge Dee...more

Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

A Utah federal court has created the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limiting Congress’ power to legislate. In an unprecedented...more

Fourth District Court of Appeal Holds Sales Tax Against Florida Corporation on Out-of-State Sales is Unconstitutional

In American Business USA Corp. v. Department of Revenue, Case No. 4D13-1472 (4th DCA November 12, 2014), the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that an assessment of sales tax pursuant to a provision in Florida's sales tax...more

Utah Federal Court Strikes Down as Unconstitutional a Regulation Under the Endangered Species Act Protecting Utah Prairie Dogs on...

The Utah Prairie Dog is a species that exists only in Utah, where it lives on both federal and private land. The species is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, and a federal regulation...more

District Court Strikes Down Regulation of Purely Intrastate Species on Private Land

In a significant Endangered Species Act case, the Utah District Court has ruled that Congress may not regulate take of the threatened Utah prairie dog, a purely intrastate species, on non-federal land. The court found that...more

Court Finds Endangered Species Act Cannot Regulate Species on Private Lands Within a Single State

In a win for property owners and project proponents, a Utah federal district court has ruled that the United States Constitution does not authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) to regulate impacts to the Utah...more

California’s “Online Eraser” Law for Minors to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

On Jan. 1, 2015, California’s “Online Eraser” law will take effect, requiring websites and other online service operators to delete on demand any content posted by minors. The law also prohibits such operators from sharing...more

Ninth Circuit: City's Pioneering Drug-Disposal Ordinance Does Not Violate Commerce Clause

If your medicine cabinet is filled with old prescriptions and other medications that you no longer want or can use, you might have asked: how and where should I get rid of these? Local governments are beginning to...more

The Food Fight Continues: Vermont AG Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Against GMO Labeling Law

In June, we reported on a suit brought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (“GMA”) seeking to rescind Vermont’s new GMO-labeling statute, Act 120. As we explained in that post, the GMA argues that Act 120 is doubly...more

Allied Domecq: Nexus-Combined Reporting

In Allied Domecq Spirits & Wines USA, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals held that the parent company of a Massachusetts taxpayer could not be included in the taxpayer’s Massachusetts...more

Oklahoma Capital Gain Deduction Upheld by Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that the Oklahoma income tax capital gains deduction is allowable and does not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The denial of the deduction to an out-of-state company...more

California Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update (1st Quarter 2014)

Case Updates - Superior Court deems Comcast and QVC are not unitary; determines early termination fee is business income. On March 6, 2014, a Los Angeles Superior Court issued its final decision in Comcon Production...more

Despite The Cheers, The Defend Trade Secrets Act Bill Has Holes: What’s A Plaintiff To Do If It Passes?

State court or federal court? If the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (DTSA) (S. 2267, introduced on April 29, 2014) becomes law, then trade secrets plaintiffs — not just those who can maintain diversity jurisdiction — could...more

ML Strategies’ Energy and Environment Weekly Update – Week of May 5, 2014

The Senate is scheduled to take up the much-anticipated Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation (S. 2262) early this week, potentially coupled with another vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. It remains unclear what form...more

Federal Judge Strikes Down Minnesota Energy Law

A federal judge, in a ruling issued today, struck down a portion of Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA) because it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by attempting to regulate the generation of...more

Ninth Circuit Hearing on California Resale Royalties

Readers will recall that in 2012 the U.S. District Court struck down the California Resale Royalties Act, holding that the 1970s-era law violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution....more

Gore Decided: Unitary Nexus Rejected; Economic Substance Test Clarified

Today, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued its highly anticipated decision in Gore Enterprise Holdings, Inc. v. Comptroller of the Treasury; Future Value, Inc. v. Comptroller of the Treasury. The court held that under the...more

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