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Levin v. Commerce Energy, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
560 U.S. 413 (2010)


Facts

In Ohio, natural-gas customers could purchase gas from a local distribution company (LDC) or an independent marketer (IM). In either case, an LDC’s pipelines were used to transport and deliver the gas to the customer. Ohio offered three tax exemptions to LDCs that were not available to IMs. Commerce Energy, Inc. (Commerce) (plaintiff), was an IM in Ohio. Commerce sued Richard Levin (defendant), Ohio’s tax commissioner, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleging discriminatory taxation in violation of the Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. The federal Tax Injunction Act (TIA) prohibited federal courts from decreasing state revenues. The district court granted Levin’s motion to dismiss based on the comity doctrine. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

Concurrence (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

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