Lectures & Events

Taxes and the Constitution
CWRU Law Downtown Lecture Series
MAR 13, 2013
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
The City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Ave., 2nd floor
CLE Credit
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit
Congress’s power to tax is generally taken for granted, but the Constitution contains important limitations on the taxing power—the power to lay and collect taxes. Some issues:
  • What distinguishes a “tax’ from other governmental charges?
  • What are direct and indirect taxes and why does it matter whether a tax is one or the other?
  • What’s the significance of the Sixteenth Amendment, which permits Congress to enact a “tax on incomes” without having to meet the apportionment rule that otherwise applies to direct taxes?
  • Does the taxing power legitimate any exercise of congressional power that is funded by taxation?

These issues are not of only historical interest. Some were implicated in the recent litigation on the legitimacy of the individual mandate in the Obamacare legislation—the requirement, beginning in 2014, that most Americans acquire suitable health insurance or pay a penalty.
Speaker Information
Erik Jensen
Schott van den Eynden Professor of Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Erik Jensen is the Schott-van den Eynden Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, having earlier occupied the David L. Brennan chair. He has been on the Case Western Reserve University School of Law faculty since 1983, teaching courses in federal income taxation, corporate and partnership taxation, business planning, and American Indian law. He has been a visiting professor at the Cornell University Law School.

Professor Jensen has published widely, in generalist journals including the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, and the North Carolina Law Review, and in specialist journals including Tax Notes, the Virginia Tax Review, and Constitutional Commentary. He is author of The Taxing Power, published by Praeger in 2005, and is editor of the Journal of Taxation of Investments, a quarterly publication. He is active in professional organizations and speaks regularly at meetings of the ABA Section of Taxation and the Cleveland Tax Institute. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

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