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US Supreme Court Will Hear Texas' Redistricting Cases

US Supreme Court Will Hear Texas' Redistricting Cases”

Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted a temporary suspension of the lower court rulings.

In its most recent case on racial gerrymandering, the Supreme Court in May 2017 ruled that Republicans in North Carolina unlawfully took race into consideration when drawing congressional district boundaries, concentrating black voters in an improper bid to diminish their statewide political clout. Ultimately, the high court said retailers can be forced to collect taxes only in states where the company has a "physical presence".

Meanwhile ecommerce trade group NetChoice says states already have a way to collect taxes on purchases made by residents from out-of-state retailers - they require their own citizens to pay "use" tax for transactions in which out-of-state retailers don't collect the "sales" tax.

Lawyers for the states said they're losing almost $34 billion a year because of the physical presence rule, though estimates from the federal Government Accountability Office said the figure is much smaller.

In defiance of Quill, some states have come up with laws requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on their behalf from in-state residents. South Dakota began the legal fight by filing suit against four retailers soon after the law was enacted: Wayfair, Overstock.com, Newegg Inc and Systemax Inc. Traditional retail industry groups argue that e-commerce businesses have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar competitors by being able to avoid collecting sales tax. Previously, there were two separate cases: One for the state's congressional map, and one for the Texas House map.

The case will also affect Amazon, though the biggest online retailer isn't directly involved.

South Dakota passed its law in 2016 with an eye toward overturning the Quill decision. "Congress can address this issue in a balanced and comprehensive manner through legislation". Kennedy said in 2015 that Quill had produced a "startling revenue shortfall" in many states, as well as "unfairness" to local retailers and their customers. "Given these changes in technology and consumer sophistication, it is unwise to delay any longer a reconsideration of the court's holding in Quill", Kennedy wrote. "It should be left in place only if a powerful showing can be made that its rationale is still correct". The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted the redistricting case Friday but no decision is expected until June, after the primaries have been decided and electioneering for the November elections is in full swing. And Thomas has said he would jettison the entire dormant commerce clause, saying "it has no basis in the Constitution and has proved unworkable in practice".



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