First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston v. Tax Commission of Massachusetts

PETITIONER: First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston
RESPONDENT: Tax Commission of Massachusetts
LOCATION: Seneca County Court

DOCKET NO.: 77-334
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

CITATION: 437 US 255 (1978)
ARGUED: Mar 21, 1978
DECIDED: Jun 15, 1978

ADVOCATES:
Chester M. Howe - for appellants
S. Stephen Rosenfeld - for appellees

Facts of the case

Question

Media for First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston v. Tax Commission of Massachusetts

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 21, 1978 in First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston v. Tax Commission of Massachusetts

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 15, 1978 in First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston v. Tax Commission of Massachusetts

Warren E. Burger:

The judgments and opinion of the Court in First Federal Savings and Loan Association against the Tax Commission of Massachusetts will be announced by Mr. Justice Stevens along with another case, Moorman Manufacturing Company against the Director of Revenue of Iowa.

John Paul Stevens:

These two cases will be of interest to a limited segment of the Bar that practices in tax law and more narrowly in taxation by the States of various business entities.

They both come here by appeal from the highest Court of a state.

One from the State of Massachusetts and the other from the State of Iowa.

At least one of these cases almost certainly would not have been heard by the Court.

If the Court had discretion to decide whether or not to hear it.

They are both here under our mandatory jurisdiction where the Court must decide on the merits, cases in which a State court has upheld a State statute against a federal constitutional challenge.

There are examples, at least one of them, if the e kind of cases in which the Court would hope that Congress would consider removing our mandatory jurisdiction.

The First Federal Savings and Loan Association case involves the validity of the Massachusetts excise tax on Federal Savings and Loan Association.

For reasons stated in the opinion filed with the clerk we affirm the judgment of the Massachusetts Supreme Court upholding the validity of the tax.

With respect to part of the analysis and the opinion, Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a dissent.