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Cammarano v. United States
United States Supreme Court
358 U.S. 498 (1959)
William and Louise Cammarano (plaintiffs) owned a partial interest in a wholesale-beer-distribution partnership. The partnership contributed money to a fund set up by the Washington Beer Wholesalers Association to promote publicity that sought to defeat a campaign to put the retail beer industry under state control. On their 1948 tax return, the Cammaranos deducted the amount paid to the program as a business expense. The commissioner of internal revenue (defendant) disallowed the deduction, and the Cammaranos sought review in the district court. The district court held that the contribution was not deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense because it was made for the purpose of defeating legislation. The court of appeals affirmed, and the Cammaranos appealed, arguing in part that denying the deduction was potentially unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)
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