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Minnesota v. National Tea Co.

309 U.S. 551 (1940)

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Minnesota v. National Tea Co.

United States Supreme Court

309 U.S. 551 (1940)

Facts

Minnesota (defendant) enacted a graduated tax on chain stores’ gross sales. A group of Minnesota retailers (plaintiffs) paid the tax and subsequently sued for refunds. The lower courts granted refunds. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the graduated tax on gross sales discriminated among chain store owners and violated the state and federal constitutional requirement of uniformity. In its opinion, the Minnesota Supreme Court discussed state constitutional law but analyzed the tax as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The opinion cited Minnesota law in the syllabus and analogized three Minnesota cases but cited five federal cases to resolve the constitutional issue. Minnesota appealed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

Dissent (Hughes, C.J.)

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