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Department of Revenue of the State of Washington v. Association of Washington Stevedoring Companies
United States Supreme Court
435 U.S. 734, 98 S. Ct. 1388 (1978)
In 1974 the Department of Revenue of the State of Washington (defendant) attempted to apply Washington’s business and occupation tax on stevedoring, the task of loading and unloading cargo from ships. The stevedoring industry in Washington handled both imports and exports. The United States Supreme Court had previously held in 1937 that such a tax violated the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Hoping to continue stevedoring’s tax exemption, the Association of Washington Stevedoring Companies (plaintiff) filed a lawsuit in state court arguing that Washington’s business and occupation tax as applied to stevedoring companies violated the Commerce Clause and Import-Export Clause of the United States Constitution. The Washington Supreme Court held that the tax violated those provisions. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)
Concurrence (Powell, J.)
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