High v. Coyne
United States Supreme Court
HIGH v. COYNE
Argued: December 5, 6, 7, 1899. --- Decided: May 14, 1900
The complainants, who are appellants here, filed their bill to enjoin the executrix of their father's estate from paying the legacy taxes levied by §§ 29 and 30 of the war revenue act of 1898. The collector of internal revenue was also made a defendant, and an injunction was asked against him to prevent his collecting or attempting to collect the taxes in question, which, it was asserted, he was about to enforce against the executrix, who, it was averred, would pay unless by the writ of injunction she was forbidden to do so. As heirs of their father and as beneficiaries of his estate, the complainants asserted they were entitled to prevent the executrix from making payment of taxes which were unconstitutional and hence void. The reasons relied on to show that the taxing law was repugnant to the Constitution of the United States were that the taxes were direct, and not apportioned, were not uniform, and were levied on objects beyond the scope of the authority of Congress. The bill was demurred to as not stating ground for relief. The demurrers were sustained, and from a decree dismissing the suit this appeal is prosecuted.
Messrs. A. M. Pence, John G. Carlisle, Peter B. Olney, William Edmond Curtis, Henry M. Ward, Ward B. Chamberlin, George F. Chamberlin, Julien T. Davies, Frederic R. Coudert, Jr., E. S. Mansfield, W. S. B. Hopkins, Thomas B. Reed, Thomas Thacher, Wheeler H. Peckham, Charles H. Otis, Richard C. Dale, Samuel Dickson, John C. Bullitt, George A. Carpenter, and Shirley T. High for appellants.
Solicitor General Richards for appellees.
Mr. Justice White delivered the opinion of the court:
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