Letter to the Editor: Provisions in the Constitution Matter: A Reply to Professor Johnson

165 Tax Notes Federal 1829 (2019)

Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-19

6 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2020

See all articles by Erik M. Jensen

Erik M. Jensen

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

Professor Calvin Johnson and I have been debating the meaning of the direct-tax apportionment rule since, it seems, the nation’s founding. This installment questions his interpretation of Chief Justice Roberts’s description of the rule in NFIB v. Sebelius, the 2012 case concluding that the individual mandate penalty in the original Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was a validly enacted tax and not a direct tax requiring apportionment. The chief’s opinion, for a Court majority, made it pretty clear that a national wealth tax would be a direct tax that would have to be apportioned to be constitutional.

Keywords: Direct-tax apportionment rule, wealth tax, Hylton v. United States, Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., NFIB v. Sebelius

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Erik M., Letter to the Editor: Provisions in the Constitution Matter: A Reply to Professor Johnson (December 2019). 165 Tax Notes Federal 1829 (2019), Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720202

Erik M. Jensen (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

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