Commerce Clause

News & Analysis as of

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - Supreme Court Decides Maryland v. Wynne and Rules that Maryland Tax Scheme Is...

In This Issue: - Maryland’s Tax Scheme Ruled Unconstitutional - “FTC Generator” Case Update - FSA Rules that Equitable Disgorgement May be Deductible Expense - District Court Upholds Attorney Client...more

New Water Rule Isn't The End of The Story

It appears that Godot has finally made an appearance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their final rule, years in the making, defining "waters of the United States" under the...more

Nine Western States Throw Their Support Behind Case Challenging Reach of the Endangered Species Act

On May 26, nine western states filed an amicus brief in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO) v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to limit the reach of...more

Alameda Drug Disposal Ordinance: Supreme Court Denies Petition for Writ

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the Alameda County Drug Disposal Ordinance (“Ordinance”) brought by three pharmaceutical trade organizations. The Court’s decision leaves in force the Ninth...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Maryland Personal Income Tax Unconstitutional Under Commerce Clause

In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, Dkt. No. 13-485 (U.S. May 18, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court found that Maryland’s system of personal income taxation violated the nondiscrimination prong of the dormant...more

Eraser Laws: Forgetting a Minor's Past to Save His Future

Hector recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is anxious about his upcoming job interview. He is about to enter the adult world. But he has also got a bigger problem: When he was 17, he was not as wise as he is now at the...more

Maryland’s Denial of Credit for Tax Paid in Other States Declared Unconstitutional

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, 575 U.S. ____ (2015), has struck down, under the “dormant” Commerce Clause, an aspect of Maryland’s income tax laws...more

Will We See Federal Trade Secret Legislation Passed This Year?

In January of this year, we noted that trade secret protection has lately been on the minds of lawmakers in Washington, and that federal trade secret legislation was very close to being enacted. While nothing is pending at...more

Supreme Court decides Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, (No. 13-485), holding that Maryland’s personal-income-tax scheme, which does not give state residents a full credit for income...more

Ninth Circuit Draws Fine Line Around Fine Art Resale Royalties

In a partial victory for artists such as Chuck Close and the Sam Francis Foundation—and for other visual artists who sold early works for rent money before establishing their name and value—the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 9

SHOULD THERE BE A “LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION” TO DISPUTED INDIAN TRUST APPLICATIONS? Recent actions in Arizona and Indiana suggest that there is a new approach to local government opposition to Indian tribal applications for...more

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

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