THE COLLECTOR v. DAY

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Case Basics
Petitioner 
The Collector
Respondent 
Day
Opinion 
Term:
Location: Congress
Facts of the Case 

In 1864, Congress created a tax on incomes over $1,000. The Congress maintained the tax for the next three years. J.M. Day, a state judge in Massachusetts, protested the tax and filed suit against the revenue service.

Question 

Did Congress have the power to impose taxes on the states and state officials?

Conclusion 

In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court held that the taxing power of the national government could not be used to interfere with the essential workings of state governments. The Court reasoned that the states and the "general government" were two distinct entities, and that the states' right to establish judicial departments could not be infringed. The national government could not tax the "means and instrumentalities" of state self-preservation.

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THE COLLECTOR v. DAY. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 06 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1870/1870_0>.
THE COLLECTOR v. DAY, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1870/1870_0 (last visited April 6, 2014).
"THE COLLECTOR v. DAY," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 6, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1870/1870_0.