Arizona Public Service Company v. Snead

PETITIONER: Arizona Public Service Company
RESPONDENT: Snead
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 77-1810
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: New Mexico Supreme Court

CITATION: 441 US 141 (1979)
ARGUED: Feb 26, 1979
DECIDED: Apr 18, 1979

ADVOCATES:
Daniel J. McAuliffe - for appellants
Jan E. Unna -

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Arizona Public Service Company v. Snead

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 26, 1979 in Arizona Public Service Company v. Snead

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 18, 1979 in Arizona Public Service Company v. Snead

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 1810, Arizona Public Service Company against Snead will be announced by Mr. Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This is a direct appeal from the Supreme Court of New Mexico, this number is 77-1810.

The case involves the validity of a New Mexico tax imposed upon the privilege of generating electricity.

The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the validity of this energy tax against federal statutory and constitutional attacks and the issues have been brought to this Court by way of a direct appeal under Section 1257(2) of Title 28 of the United States Code.

The appellants contend that the New Mexico tax is invalid under a specific federal statute as well as under the Commerce, Due Process, and Import-Export Clauses of the constitution.

For the reason set out in the Court's written opinion, we conclude that under the Supremacy Clause, the tax is invalid by reason of the federal statute, and accordingly, we reversed the judgment without reaching the substantive constitutional issues.

Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which he has been joined by Mr. Justice White.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Stewart.