Wednesday, December 8, 2004
The Supreme Court yesterday heard oral argument in the companion Ballard (No. 03-184) and Kanter (03-1034) cases. Leandra Lederman (George Mason) was there and provides us with her first-hand account:
Stephen Shapiro of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw argued on behalf of the taxpayers (the petitioners); Thomas Hungar, Deputy Solicitor General, argued on behalf of the government. The consolidated cases involved the issue of whether the report of a Special Trial Judge in a case Code section 7443A allows the Special Trial Judge to hear but not to decide must be disclosed. The arguments focused primarily on IRC section 7461, a disclosure provision; IRC section 7482, the statute governing appellate review of Tax Court decisions; and Tax Court Rule 183, which provides procedures relating to Special Trial Judge Reports. The Court seemed both concerned about the nondisclosure of the report and inclined towards a statutory basis for decision rather than a broader due process rationale.
Leandra is the co-author of Tax Controversies: Practice and Procedure (LexisNexis, 2d ed. 2002 & 2004 Supp.) (with Stephen Mazza (Kansas)). For Leandra's prior TaxProf Blog commentary on these cases, see:
For other accounts of the oral argument in Ballard & Kanter, see: