Commissioner v. "Americans United" Inc.

PETITIONER: Commissioner
RESPONDENT: "Americans United" Inc.
LOCATION: U.S. District Court

DOCKET NO.: 72-1371
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 416 US 752 (1974)
ARGUED: Jan 07, 1974
DECIDED: May 15, 1974

ADVOCATES:
Alan B. Morrison - for respondents
Franklin C. Salisbury - for respondents
Scott P. Crampton - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Commissioner v. "Americans United" Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 07, 1974 in Commissioner v. "Americans United" Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 15, 1974 in Commissioner v. "Americans United" Inc.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

The second case, which is Alexander versus Americans United, also involves the Anti-Injunction Act and issues similar, in many respects, to those in the case just announced.

Here, the Internal Revenue Service revoked respondent’s ruling letter because of respondent’s lobbying activities.

The effect of the revocation was to render respondent liable for Federal Unemployment taxes and also to terminate its eligibility for tax deductible contributions.

Respondent and two of its benefactors sought injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment that the any lobbying provisions of the court were unconstitutional.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the primary purpose of the suit was to raise constitutional issues rather than enjoin collection of taxes.

We conclude that the Anti-Injunction Act applies even when constitutional issues are raised by the taxpayer.

We hold that the Act also is applicable even though the tax consequences affect primarily the donors rather than the organization holding the ruling letter.

Accordingly, we reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion; Mr. Justice Douglas took no part in the decision of the case.