Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 15,700+ case briefs...

United States v. Mead Corp.

United States Supreme Court
533 U.S. 218 (2001)


Facts

Imports into the United States were taxed pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The United States Customs Service (Customs) set the final classifications and tariff rates under the HTSUS pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the United States Secretary of the Treasury. Tariff classifications for imports were made in "ruling letters" issued before entry of the goods. Ruling letters were not subject to notice and comment before being issued and could be modified without notice and comment in most circumstances. Instead, rulings were subject to independent review by the Court of International Trade (CIT). The Mead Corporation (Mead) (plaintiff) imported day planners. Between 1989 and 1993, Customs treated Mead's day planners as a duty-free import. However, in January 1993, Customs issued a ruling letter classifying the day planners as bound diaries subject to a 4 percent tariff under the HTSUS. Mead brought an action against the United States (defendant) in the CIT, which granted the government's motion for summary judgment and adopted Customs's reasoning as to why the planners were bound diaries and thus subject to the tariff. Mead appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which reversed the CIT. The appeals court gave no deference to the ruling letter and rejected Customs's reasoning that the day planners were either bound or diaries. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the issue of how much deference courts owed to this type of agency action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 328,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,700 briefs, keyed to 213 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.