McCray v. United States

PETITIONER: McCray
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: 301
DECIDED BY: Fuller Court (1903-1906)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Dec 02, 1903
DECIDED: May 31, 1904

Facts of the case

At the urging of dairy farmers, Congress passed an act imposing a tax of 10 cents per pound on oleomargarine that was artificially colored yellow. Noncolored margarine was taxed only one-quarter of a cent per pound. McCray, a licensed dealer, did not pay the higher tax while selling the colored product. After losing his case in lower courts, McCray appealed to the Supreme Court.

Question

Did the congressional act overstep the boundaries of the taxing powers established in the Constitution?