Opinion analysis: Maryland’s personal income tax violates the Commerce Clause

Bradley W. Joondeph is the Inez Mabie Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Santa Clara University School of Law.
On Monday, a sharply divided Supreme Court held in Comptroller v. Wynne that Maryland’s personal income tax scheme – which failed to offer Maryland residents a full credit for income taxes paid to other states on income they earned in those states – was unconstitutional. By a vote of five to four, an ideologically diverse majority (consisting of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor) concluded that Maryland’s scheme violated the dormant Commerce Clause because it discriminated against interstate commerce. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg each authored dissenting opinions, on widely divergent grounds, revealing a fundamental dissensus on the Court regarding the dormant

Original SCOTUS article

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