Business Community Wins Important Supreme Court Victory on State Tax Challenges

March 3, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision today which protects the ability of business groups to challenge state tax laws. Last fall, ANA joined with several other industry groups to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the Court.

The case, Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, (U.S. Supreme Court Docket No. 13-1032) involves a challenge to a Colorado law that requires out-of-state merchants to disclose confidential information about their Colorado customers to the state’s revenue department.

DMA filed a lawsuit challenging the Colorado law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the federal courts had no jurisdiction over the case because of the federal Tax Injunction Act (TIA). That act generally prohibits federal courts from blocking state tax collections. DMA argued that the Tenth Circuit’s interpretation of the TIA creates a serious restriction on the access of businesses to federal courts to challenge the constitutionality of state laws. ANA fully agreed with this position.

We are very pleased that the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the Tenth Circuit, allowing the challenge to the Colorado law to proceed. We think this is an important victory for the ad community.   

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