Western & Southern Life Insurance Co. v. State Board of Equalization of California
United States Supreme Court
451 U.S. 648 (1981)
Section 685 of the California Insurance Code imposed a retaliatory tax on out-of-state insurers doing business in California, when those insurers’ home states imposed higher taxes on California insurers doing business in those states than California would otherwise impose if business was done in California. Western & Southern Life Insurance Co. (plaintiff) was an out-of-state insurance company doing business in California that was taxed pursuant to the California state statute. Western & Southern brought suit in superior court against the State Board of Equalization of California (SBEC) (defendant). Western & Southern sought to enjoin enforcement of the tax statute on the grounds that it unconstitutionally burdened interstate commerce. The superior court ruled the tax unconstitutional, but the court of appeals reversed. Western & Southern Life Insurance Co. appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
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.
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 154,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,500 briefs, keyed to 184 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.