Supreme Court to Consider Texas Redistricting Case

Retailers Encouraged by Supreme Court's Decision to Revisit 'Antiquated' Online Sales Tax Ruling

But the Supreme Court in September temporarily blocked the lower court rulings - and any efforts to redraw the maps - in two 5-4 decisions as it considered the appeal from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

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.

"States' inability to effectively collect sales tax from internet sellers imposes crushing harm on state treasuries and brick-and-mortar retailers alike", South Dakota said in its Supreme Court appeal. The Government Accountability Office estimates that, had they been allowed, states and local governments could have collected as much as $13 billion in additional taxes on online sales.

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. Some online retailers, including leading player Amazon.com Inc, already collect state sales tax but others do not.

Heeding calls from traditional retailers and dozens of states, the justices said they'll hear South Dakota's contention that the 1992 ruling is obsolete in the e-commerce era and should be overturned. Systemax agreed to collect the tax, while the other companies contested the state law. That's proof that "the "problem" of uncollected taxes", the retailers involved in the case said in their court brief, "has proven to be largely self-correcting".

Retailers Encouraged by Supreme Court's Decision to Revisit 'Antiquated' Online Sales Tax Ruling
South Dakota's chief justice to provide State of Judiciary

When Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., got the news that the U.S. Supreme Court would be taking up a case on state's rights to collect sales tax on online sales, she just started smiling. "Congress can address this issue in a balanced and comprehensive manner through legislation".

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch have also criticized the decision, according to South Dakota's petition. 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.

"When the Court decided Quill, mailorder sales in the United States totaled $180 billion", Kennedy wrote. "It should be left in place only if a powerful showing can be made that its rationale is still correct".

With both decisions on hold, no new districts will be drawn in the interim while the high court considers the Texas appeal in the cases.

Amazon backs a nationwide approach that would relieve retailers from dealing with a patchwork of state laws. South Dakota has no state income tax and relies heavily on sales taxes to fill state coffers.

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