United States v. Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit
LOCATION: Dry Docks at Reed, WV

DOCKET NO.: 350
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 363 US 194 (1960)
ARGUED: Mar 31, 1960
DECIDED: Jun 13, 1960

Facts of the case

Question

Media for United States v. Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 31, 1960 in United States v. Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit

Earl Warren:

Number 350, United States, Appellant, versus Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit.

Mr. Kramer, you may proceed.

Kramer:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case is here as a direct appeal under 28 U.S.C. Sections 1252 and 2101, from a judgment of the Eastern District Court of the District Court of Michigan, in a suit brought for recovery of certain federal estate taxes under 28 U.S.C. Section 1346 (a) (1).

The District Court held the provisions in question of the federal estate tax under which the tax was levied, was unconstitutional as applied in this particular case.

The sections of the statute involved are found in the -- the appendix to our brief on pages 27 and 29.

It's Section 811 (g) (2) (A) of the 1939 Internal Revenue Code as amended by Section 404 of the Revenue Act of 1942.

William O. Douglas:

Before you start on your argument --

Kramer:

Yes.

William O. Douglas:

-- could I ask you one question, supposed this man has died after the date specified in the 1954 Act --

Kramer:

Yes.

William O. Douglas:

-- what would be the result?

Kramer:

The result would be that there -- there would be no estate -- the insurance proceeds, in question, would not have been included in his gross estate.

William O. Douglas:

That wouldn't be in his -- his gross estate?

Kramer:

That is correct.

Yes.

William O. Douglas:

No -- none of them.

Kramer:

None of them would be.

William O. Douglas:

Even though he had paid --

Kramer:

Premiums (Voice Overlap) --

William O. Douglas:

-- all the premiums?

Kramer:

That is right.

The reason is --

William O. Douglas:

And the reason is that it turns on -- on his relinquishment of --

Kramer:

What are known as incidents of ownership?

William O. Douglas:

-- all incidents of ownership, including the -- the labor of relinquishment of the right to change the beneficiary?

Kramer:

That is correct.

If he had died after sometime in August 1954, the effective date of the 1954 Act, however, he died before then and under the 1939 Code as amendment by the 1942 Act, it is the Government's contention that the proceeds in question aren't -- in fact, it is conceding that if the 1942 Act is constitutional, the insurance proceeds are included in his gross estate.

That is conceding.

The facts or may -- may contained in the -- in a stipulation which is printed in the record on pages 15 and 18.