Thursday, August 24, 2006
In the comments to our discussion of Murphy v. United States, No. 03cv02414 (D.C. Cir. 8/22/06), Marty Lederman (Georgetown) notes that whether or not the award is "income" cannot possibly determine the constitutional question, as the court assumes: there are plenty of federal taxes on things other than income, and they're not all unconstitutional:
I'd really appreciate some feedback from the tax profs out there: Am I simply missing an obvious reason why this tax, unlike numerous other federal taxes, is "direct" -- a reason so obvious that it was not even worth arguing about in the briefs or discussing in the opinion of the court? Or is this opinion, as I have argued, shockingly inadequate in that it fails *even to mention* the issue on which the constitutionality of the tax should turn -- and if so, why aren't tax profs and practitioners everywhere saying so?