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LEVIN v. COMMERCE ENERGY, INC., ET AL.

Docket No.: 09-223
Certiorari Granted: Nov 2 2009
Argued: March 22, 2010
Decided: June 1, 2010

Topics:

Administrative Procedure, Comity, Commerce Clause, Equal Protection Clause, Establishment Clause, cost recovery, racial discrimination

PartyNames: Richard A. Levin, Tax Commissioner of Ohio v. Commerce Energy, Inc., et al.
Petitioner: Richard A. Levin, Tax Commissioner of Ohio
Respondent: Commerce Energy, Inc., et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Citation: 554 F.3d 1094

Richard A. Levin, Tax Commissioner of Ohio
v.
Commerce Energy, Inc., et al.
Question Presented:

:flOmega 1. Did the Court's decision in Hibbs v. Winn, 542 U.S. 88 (2004), which addressed the scope of the Tax Injunction Act's bar against federal cases seeking to enjoin the assessment and collection of state taxes, eliminate or narrow the doctrine of comityapplied in Fair Assessment in Real Estate Association v. McNary, 454 U.S. 100 (1981)-which more broadly precludes federal jurisdiction over cases that intrude on the administration of state taxation? flOmega 2. Do either comity principles or the Tax Injunction Act bar federal jurisdiction over a case in which taxpayers allege, on equal protection and dormant Commerce Clause grounds, that their tax assessments are discriminatory relative to other taxpayers' assessments?

Question:

1) Did Hibbs v. Winn eliminate or narrow the doctrine of comity applied in Fair Assessment in Real Estate Association v. McNary, which broadly prevents federal court jurisdiction over cases that intrude on the administration of state taxation? 2) Do comity principles or the Tax Injunction Act prevent federal court jurisdiction over a case in which taxpayers allege, on equal protection and dormant commerce clause grounds, that their tax assessments are discriminatory relative to other taxpayers assessments?

LEVIN v. COMMERCE ENERGY, INC., ET AL.
ORAL ARGUMENT

March 22, 2010

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 9-0
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