Uniform Throughout the United States: Limits on Taxing as Limits on Spending

46 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2001 Last revised: 4 Feb 2016

Laurence Claus

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2001

Abstract

The Constitution's requirement that federal taxation be "uniform throughout the United States" precludes explicit conditioning of federal taxation upon state political identity. That limitation upon taxation informs the Constitution's obverse requirement that federal spending be for the "common Defence and general Welfare" of the United States. A state's lawful policy choices are elements of its political identity. Conditions on federal spending which explicitly target elements of a state's political identity violate the Constitution's obverse requirements that taxation be uniform and that spending be common and general.

Suggested Citation

Claus, Laurence, Uniform Throughout the United States: Limits on Taxing as Limits on Spending (February 1, 2001). 18 Constitutional Commentary 517 (2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=285596 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.285596

Laurence Claus (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-5933 (Phone)
619-260-4180 (Fax)

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