Sonzinsky v. United States 300 U.S. 506 (1937)

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SONZINSKY v. UNITED STATES 300 U.S. 506 (1937)

The unanimous opinion in this case indicated that the spirit animating the decision in bailey v. drexel furniture co. (1922) was dead: the Supreme Court would no longer inquire into Congress's motives in enacting a tax measure. The National Firearms Act of 1934 imposed an annual excise tax on manufacturers and dealers of fire-arms, excepting handguns. The Court refused to consider that the tax was not imposed to raise a revenue and was a penalty to suppress traffic in a commodity normally subject only to state regulation. Compulsory registration provisions of such statutes, however, were later held unconstitutional in marchetti v. united states (1968).

Leonard W. Levy

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Sonzinsky v. United States 300 U.S. 506 (1937)

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