Dinsmore Tax Partner Kelvin Lawrence Speaks on SCOTUS and Original Jurisdiction

December 7, 2020Quotes & Mentions
Tax Notes

Dinsmore tax partner Kelvin Lawrence was quoted last week in the Tax Notes article "Experts Weigh in on New Hampshire-Massachusetts Tax Dispute" regarding Arizona v. California, a case that a court declined to hear in February. Read the excerpt below.

In February, the Court declined to hear Arizona v. California. Arizona had asked the Court to assume original jurisdiction and determine that California’s enforcement of its $800 minimum franchise tax is unconstitutional when levied on Arizona entities with passive investments in California limited liability companies that elected to be taxed as partnerships. Arizona had argued that California winds up taxing nonresidents that conduct no actual business in the state. During a panel on passthroughs, Kelvin Lawrence of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP said the Supreme Court had asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on whether to take Arizona v. California. The solicitor general recommended that the Court not exercise its jurisdiction.

“What’s interesting and telling here is that Justice [Clarence] Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion, joined by Justice [Samuel A.] Alito [Jr.], in which he argued that the Constitution doesn’t permit the Court to decline jurisdiction in cases like these,” Lawrence said.

Thomas wrote about how the Constitution uses the term “shall” with regard to its original jurisdiction over suits between states and how declining review leaves the states without any other remedy to reconcile their differences, Lawrence said.

Click here to read the full article.