Justice Scalia’s Tax Decisions

Antonin_Scalia_Official_SCOTUS_PortraitIn the aftermath of his death, lots of people have written a lot of analysis, commentary, and conspiracy about Justice¬†Antonin Scalia. It’s hard to overstate his influence on Supreme Court jurisprudence or on constitutional analysis. And it’s hard to overstate the virtuosity of his written opinions—whether you agree or not, they’re thoughtful, consistent, and they explode with the sheer joy of language. In a genre not always known for being fun to read, Scalia’s opinions were often fun to read.

And yet, while I’m aware of his judicial and constitutional philosophies, his opinions have had little direct application to my professional life. I decided to take a look at his tax opinions.¬† Continue reading

Note to Utah’s Newly-Married Same Sex Couples

wedding ringsOn December 20, 2013, Judge Shelby of the District Court of Utah ruled that Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriages violated the U.S. Constitution.[fn1] For various reasons, there was no stay of the decision, and approximately 1,300 same-sex couples married in Utah.

On Monday, January 6, the Supreme Court issued a stay of Judge Shelby’s decision, halting same-sex marriages at least until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has a chance to rule on the issue. Continue reading

The Amazon Tax in the Supreme Court

amzn_fb-tw_Icon-globalIn 2008, New York passed its so-called Amazon Tax, which required Amazon.com (and certain other internet retailers) to collect New York sales tax on its sales to New York residents.

But wait, you may object, doesn’t the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota mean that out-of-state retailers without a physical presence in New York don’t have to collect New York sales tax? Continue reading