Louis K. Liggett Co. v. Lee

288 U.S. 517 (1933)

From our private database of 46,100+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Louis K. Liggett Co. v. Lee

United States Supreme Court
288 U.S. 517 (1933)

  • Written by Mary Pfotenhauer, JD
Play video

Facts

A Florida anti-chain-store statute made it illegal for a person or entity to operate a retail store within the state without first obtaining a license. The statute imposed a $5.00 licensing fee upon a single retail store. If the same person or entity operated multiple stores, the statutory licensing fees for each store increased depending on the quantity of stores and their location. For example, if someone operated between 2 and 15 stores in the same county, the licensing fee for each of those stores was $10.00. If the same person or entity operated between 2 and 15 stores in different counties, the licensing fee for each store was $15.00. The per-store licensing fee increased by $5.00 for every 15 stores operated by the same person or entity. The statute also imposed a tax of $3.00 for every $1,000 in value of each store's inventory and merchandise. Louis K. Liggett Co. and other chain-store owners (plaintiffs) brought an action against state tax officials (defendants) seeking an injunction to prevent the enforcement of the statute. The owners claimed that the statute violated their due-process and equal-protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and various provisions of Florida's constitution. The owners argued that there was no difference between how chain stores and individually owned retail stores are operated and that the statute impermissibly imposed an arbitrary and unreasonable tax on one method of conducting business but not the other. The tax officials moved to dismiss the action, and the trial court granted the motion. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed, and the owners appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)

Dissent (Cardozo, J.)

Dissent (Brandeis, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 745,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 745,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,100 briefs, keyed to 987 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 745,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,100 briefs - keyed to 987 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership