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Helvering v. Davis

United States Supreme Court
301 U.S. 619 (1937)


Facts

The Social Security Act of 1935 imposed a special income tax on employees to provide for the payment of old-age benefits. Congress passed the tax after thorough analysis. The president’s Committee on Economic Security investigated and reported on the tax in conjunction with a number of government advisory groups. House and Senate committees held extensive hearings. A number of state and national commissions provided research as well. Ultimately, the changing demographics of the United States showed a serious need for old-age benefits because there was a lack of availability for employment for persons over 40 years old and 75 percent of persons over 65 years old were at least partially dependent on others for financial support. The validity of the Social Security Act was challenged in the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, J.)

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