Respect for Statutory Text versus 'Blithe Unconcern': A Reply to Professor Coverdale

11 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2009

See all articles by Erik M. Jensen

Erik M. Jensen

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Abstract

In Tufts v. Commissioner, the Supreme Court in 1983 had concluded that relief from a nonrecourse liability on disposition of property should be reflected in the seller's amount realized, even if the value of the property had dropped below the principal amount of the obligation. Professor Coverdale quite reasonably complained that the statutory definition of amount realized makes no mention of liabilities and that, not quite so reasonably, commentators had shown blithe unconcern about statutory language. A great fan of adhering to statutory language, the author nevertheless argues that interpreters must take into account judicial developments, in this case beginning with Crane v. Commissioner (1947), in arriving at any reasonable understanding of statutory language.

Keywords: Tufts v. Commissioner, Nonrecourse Liability, Property, John F. Coverdale, Text as Limit: A Plea for a Decent Respect for the Tax Code

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Erik M., Respect for Statutory Text versus 'Blithe Unconcern': A Reply to Professor Coverdale. Tulane Law Review, Vol. 72, p. 1749, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1365978

Erik M. Jensen (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3613 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

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