Supreme Court to hear online sales tax case

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The justices agreed Friday to hear two cases challenging congressional and state legislative districts in Texas, adding them to ones already pending from Wisconsin and Maryland.

Paxton's office successfully appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which on a 5-4 vote in September instructed the San Antonio panel to leave the districts in place. Law professor Rick Hasen from the University of California, Irvine, an election law expert, summarized the cases as "big, important, and exceedingly complex".

In urging the justices to ratify the decision by the three judges, civil rights groups said that nearly all the districts at issue were originally adopted by Texas lawmakers in 2011 and were rife with racial bias.

Jackley tells KELO.com News that the state is losing millions in sales taxes and "sticks and bricks" retailers in South Dakota are hurting because online retailers are not forced to collect state sales tax.

States have enacted a variety of laws in hope of collecting more sales taxes, particularly when in-state businesses are used as conduits. Traditional retailers joined the fray, arguing it is unfair to require them, but not their online competitors, to charge sales tax with each purchase.

Similar legislation was introduced previous year with bipartisan support, but the effort has stalled in Congress because House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteRosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee next week Conservative pressure on Sessions grows Clock ticking down on NSA surveillance powers MORE (R-Va.) has wanted to take a different approach on the issue.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear two cases, both titled Abbott v. Perez, which claim that Texas' congressional and state legislative districts were drawn to dilute Hispanic voters' influence. Internet commerce platforms Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg challenged the new tax in short order. Instead, Texas asked the Supreme Court to put the rulings on hold until justices could review the ruling's merits. "The action throughout the nation is extensive and complex", the state's appeal said.

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States say the court's previous rulings have also hurt them.

"They [the state Supreme Court] made us eligible for the October 2017 Supreme Court docket", he said.

The case is expected to draw a long list of supporters and opponents of South Dakota's challenge.

A barrage of court rulings past year - including the two redistricting rulings handed down last August - have forced Texas leaders to confront whether they strayed too far in enacting voting laws found to have disproportionately burdened people of color.

At issue is whether the SEC's administrative law judges are employees or, because they wield significant decision-making authority, are "inferior officers" covered by the Constitution's "appointments clause".

The case is brought by Raymond Lucia, a former California radio host and investment adviser known for his "Buckets of Money" strategy. A hearing date for the case has yet to be set.

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