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U.S. Supreme Court

Board of Trustees of University of Illinois v. United States, 289 U.S. 48 (1933)

Board of Trustees of University of Illinois v. United States

No. 538

Argued February 17, 1933

Decided March 20, 1933

289 U.S. 48


1. The power of Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations is plenary and exclusive, not subject in its exercise to be limited, qualified, or impeded to any extent by state action. P. 289 U. S. 56.

2. This power is buttressed by the express provision of the Constitution denying to the states authority to lay duties on imports or exports without the consent of Congress. P. 289 U. S. 57.

3. Although the taxing power is a distinct power and embraces the power to lay duties, it is established that duties may also be imposed in the exercise of the power to regulate commerce. P. 289 U. S. 58.

4. Where Congress exercises its power to regulate foreign commerce by means of a tariff, declaring, as in the Tariff Act of 1922, that it is so exercising it, the judicial department may not attempt, in its own conception of policy, to distribute the duties thus fixed by allocating some of them to the exercise of the power to regulate commerce and others to an independent exercise of the taxing power. P. 289 U. S. 58. chanrobles.com-red

Page 289 U. S. 49

5. It is for Congress to say to what extent the states and their instrumentalities shall be relieved of the duties on articles imported by them. P. 289 U. S. 59.

6. The principle of state immunity from federal taxation springs from and is limited by the necessity of maintaining our dual system of government, and has no application to duties imposed in the exercise of the power to regulate foreign commerce. P. 289 U. S. 59.

20 C.C.P.A. (Cust.) 134, 61 Treas.Dec. 1334, affirmed.

Certiorari, 287 U.S. 596, to review the affirmance of a decision of the Customs Court (59 Treas.Dec. 747), overruling protests made by the trustees and officers of the University of Illinois against customs duties collected on articles imported by it for use in one of its educational departments. chanrobles.com-red

Page 289 U. S. 56


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