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West Lynn Creamery, Inc. v. Healy

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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 512 U.S. 186, 114 S. Ct. 2205, 129 L. Ed. 2d 157, 1994 U.S. 4638.

Brief Fact Summary. Massachusetts imposed a non-discriminatory tax on in-state producers and out-of-state producers of milk sold in Massachusetts. Thereupon, the proceeds of the tax were given to in-state producers.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A tax scheme that raises revenue and benefits local producers by burdening their out-of-state competitors is a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause.


Facts. Massachusetts used a non-discriminatory sales tax on milk. Under the tax system, both in-state producers and out-of-state producers paid the same tax for the milk they sold in Massachusetts. Thereupon, the proceeds of the tax were distributed to Massachusetts milk producers. An out-of-state producer challenged the constitutionality of the non-discriminatory-tax-plus-local-subsidy program on Commerce Clause grounds.

Issue. Was the non-discriminatory tax and subsidy program unconstitutional as against the dormant Commerce Clause?

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